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Family Health News

Linda Morgan

Published on: December 30, 2013

Some news you can use to keep your family healthy in this season...

Depression in teensA bad mix

According to Seattle Children’s Hospital, teens, depression and guns are a dangerous combination. One in five teens experiences a period of depression by age 18, according to research — and depressed teens are at risk for suicide. Most teens and preteens who commit suicide do it with a gun, according to Seattle Children’s. Suicide crises are often short-term, and having access to a gun makes it easier to carry out the act.

That’s one more reason why removing guns from your home is the best way to protect your family from gun violence. “This is especially important if a family member is depressed or suicidal, or is using drugs or alcohol,” reports Seattle Children’s.

Physical impacts of bullying on kidsPhysical ailments point to bullying

A whole range of physical complaints could be a sign that your child is been bullied, according to a study from the University of Padua in Italy. Symptoms can include stomachaches, diarrhea, headaches and bed-wetting.

“Results showed that bullied children and adolescents have a significantly higher risk for psychosomatic problems than non-bullied age-mates,” reports the authors in an article published in Pediatrics. “Given that school bullying is a widespread phenomenon in many countries around the world, the present results indicate that bullying should be considered a significant international public health problem.”

The researchers found that kids who were being bullied were twice as likely as non-bullied kids to have these kinds of symptoms.

Early medical screening for mammograms and breast cancerCan early screening save more lives?

To screen or not to screen? That’s still the question. In 2009, the U.S. Pre­ventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advised that women should not start getting regular mammograms until they are 50, even though the American Cancer Society recommends women begin getting mammograms at 40.

But here’s the latest: A research team at Harvard Medical School looked at the cases of 7,301 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1990 and 1999, checking their medical records until 2007.

Of those, 609 died of breast cancer. Among those who died, 65 percent had never had a mammogram.

They concluded that this shows that earlier screening could have saved lives.

What symptoms shout ‘allergy’?

We know that many kids these days have allergies, but we don’t always know what allergy symptoms look like. Think your child might have an allergy? Here are the signs that the American Academy of Pediatrics says to watch out for:

•    Chronic cold-like symptoms that last more than a week or two or develop at about the same time every year

•    Recurrent coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms

•    Red, itchy, dry or scaly rashes on the elbows and/or knees, or on the back of the neck, buttocks, wrists or ankles

•    Symptoms such as hives, swelling of the face, coughing, wheezing or vomiting that occur after eating a particular food

•    Itching or tingling sensations in the mouth, throat or ears during certain times of year or after eating certain foods, particularly fresh (raw) fruits

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