children's health

Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talcum-based baby powder in the United States and Canada after being ordered to pay out billions of dollars related to lost legal battles over claims the product causes cancer.

The company made the announcement Tuesday. It denied allegations that the powder is responsible for health problems.

Updated on March 16 at 1:56 p.m. ET

Kids, this comic is for you.

It's based on a radio story that NPR education reporter Cory Turner did. He asked some experts what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus discovered in China.

Sudeep Taksali, an orthopedic surgeon, became worried that his 8-year-old daughter had already grown taller than his 12-year-old son. And sometimes she had an attitude that seemed more fitting for a teenager too. Something seemed wrong.

Taksali and his wife, Sara, realized their daughter had grown 7 inches in two years and she was showing signs of puberty. They took her to the doctor, who referred her to a pediatric endocrinologist for a work-up.

Federal workers are on the cusp of getting 12 weeks of paid parental leave, thanks to a landmark proposal making its way through Congress.

The House on Wednesday passed the measure, which is slated for a Senate vote next week and is expected to become law.

"The idea that you could be at home for 12 weeks would be a real game changer, I think, for people — myself included," says Becky Williams, who works as an analyst at the U.S. State Department.

Every day, as many as 500 babies in sub-Saharan Africa are born with HIV. Standard practice in many of these countries is to give them treatment if they test positive, but not for weeks or even months after they're born. The concern is that newborns can't tolerate the powerful drugs.

Sexual violence against children happens everywhere: in wealthy enclaves, in slums, in suburbs, in rural villages.

Invariably, it happens in secret: in the privacy of family homes, in dark corners of schools and churches, and in murky shadows at neighborhood, community, sporting and scouting events.

This year saw the largest outbreak of measles in the U.S. since 1994, with 1,250 cases reported as of Oct. 3, largely driven by families choosing not to vaccinate their kids. Worldwide, the disease has resurfaced in areas that had been declared measles-free.

In 2015, Zika virus swept through Brazil and the Americas. It was the first time a mosquito-borne virus was known to cause severe birth defects, and the World Health Organization declared it a "public health emergency that warranted a global response."

Bridget Desmukes was surprised when Dr. Rita Driggers, Desmukes' OB-GYN in Washington, D.C., recommended low-dose aspirin at her first prenatal appointment this past spring. She knew about daily low-dose aspirin being prescribed to people recovering from a heart attack or stroke. But for pregnant women?

With measles making a comeback in many upper-income countries including the United States and still rampant in some poorer nations such as Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, a leading measles expert is warning of a danger beyond the spread of the disease itself: There's mounting evidence that when a person is infected with measles, the virus also wipes out the immune system's memory of how to fight off all sorts of other life-threatening infections – ranging from gastro-intestinal bugs that cause diarrhea to respiratory viruses that trigger pneumonia.

Packing a turkey sandwich in your kid's lunchbox, or serving up bacon or hot dogs?

When shopping for processed meats, many health-conscious consumers look for products with words like "no nitrates added" or "uncured" on the packaging. But we may have been misled, experts say.

A new report finds that deli meats with those labels actually contain similar levels of nitrates as meats that don't carry these labels.

Dale Knuth, now 58, says that in childhood her weight was a source of anguish — largely because of how her family treated her. "I had a brother who tormented me constantly," she says. "If I came home from school and was hungry and ate an apple, I'd be called a cow, or a pig or whatever."

Her parents, she says, did nothing to stop her brother "except to say, 'Yeah, you're getting fat.' " She had no physical outlet for her frustration — she wanted to play softball, but her mother wouldn't allow it.

Hand dryers are ubiquitous in public restrooms, but according to research recently published in the Canadian journal Paediatrics & Child Health, the noise they make may be harmful to children's ears.

And the study's author can speak from personal experience.

"Sometimes after using hand dryers my ears would start ringing," 13-year-old Nora Keegan from Calgary, Canada, tells NPR. "I also noticed that children would not want to use hand dryers, and they'd be covering their ears."

More Mental-Health Treatment Sought For Children

May 24, 2019

Florida has an estimated 400,000 children who need behavioral-health services, but 55 percent of them don’t get any treatment, members of a health-care panel were told Thursday. 

How To Help A Kid Survive Early Puberty

May 16, 2019

From surging hormones and acne to body hair and body odor, puberty can be a rocky transition for any kid. But girls and boys who start physically developing sooner than their peers face particular social and emotional challenges, researchers find.

"Puberty is a pivotal time in kids' lives, and early maturing boys and girls may be more likely to struggle psychologically," says Jane Mendle, a psychologist and associate professor at Cornell University.

Pages