Kids who don’t drink water take in nearly 100 more calories from sugary drinks every day than those who do, according to a recent Penn State study. About one-fifth of children fall into the no-water group. But a multi-year experiment in the New York City public schools involving more than 1 million students found that…  read on >

It’s not just Moms: Just ahead of Father’s Day, a new survey finds that about half of American dads say they’ve been criticized about their parenting styles. The way they enforced discipline topped the list of things naysayers called them to task on, with two-thirds of critiques focused on that subject. Forty-four percent of the…  read on >

The waning effectiveness of a flawed whooping cough vaccine is the main culprit in recent outbreaks of the highly contagious bacterial infection, a new study reports. More than four out of five confirmed whooping cough (pertussis) cases strike children who are fully vaccinated, the study authors said. That’s because the vaccine for whooping cough loses…  read on >

Shingles isn’t usually considered a kids’ disease, but children can get this painful condition. Fortunately, the chickenpox vaccine can also protect them against it, a new study finds. “The virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. It’s pretty uncommon in kids, but we wanted to see what would happen to the rates of shingles among…  read on >

While kids get some benefit from using digital and social media, such as early learning and exposure to new ideas, too much of it can negatively affect their health, sleep and eating habits, and even their attention span. But ruling out all media usage isn’t the answer either. An approach suggested by the American Academy…  read on >

Though rare, some children are born with an extra finger, a condition known as polydactyly. Now, for the first time, a team of researchers set out to see whether having this extra appendage is somehow beneficial. The answer is yes. The bottom line: Having an additional finger significantly boosts a person’s ability to manipulate objects,…  read on >

Exercise is important for all kids, because it boosts their overall health and wards off excess weight. But it holds added benefit for teens: According to a study in The Journal of Pediatrics, it improves their attention, which can help them do better in school. The greatest payoff came from about an hour a day…  read on >

While taking vitamins may be fine for teens and young adults, supplements for weight loss, muscle-building and added energy may trigger severe medical problems, new research suggests. Regulations to keep these potentially harmful products out of the hands of young people are urgently needed, the study authors said. “The [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has…  read on >

Dentists tend to be overeager when it comes to prescribing antibiotics, new research suggests. The study authors found that antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection during dental procedures weren’t necessary 81% of the time. That’s important because 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions come from dentists, the researchers said. “Preventive antibiotics in these patients gave them risks…  read on >

Sudden withdrawal from coffee and cigarettes can trigger symptoms that mimic serious disease, leading to unnecessary tests in hospital intensive care units, a new review concludes. “Nicotine and caffeine are some of the most commonly used and highly addictive substances in modern society, but they are often overlooked as a potential source of significant withdrawal…  read on >