Alex Cooke

Alex Cooke

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November 29, 2018

Emergency Rooms Seeing a Rise in Children's Mental Health Cases

teen_health_depressed smallerIn recent years, an increasing number of children are showing up in emergency rooms for mental health reasons. After seeing an increase in mental health concerns in her own practice, Dr. Anna Abrams, a pediatrician and researcher at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C., analyzed data from 45 different children's hospitals from 2012-2016 and saw a roughly 55 percent increase in mental health cases.

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October 30, 2018

Limiting Screen Time in Children Linked to Better Cognitive Performance

teen_tech_boys playing video games at nightA recent observational study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that limiting screen time for children to just two hours a day can help improve their brain function, memory, attention, and the speed at which new information is processed. When limited screen time is paired up with a good night’s sleep of at least nine hours, kids tend to score better on tests.

The study analyzed data from the broader original study that focused on 4,500 children aged 8-11. Researchers examined screen time, amount of sleep, and time spent engaging in physical activity and compared it to the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines.

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September 27, 2018

Teens Not Sleeping Enough? Here is How You Can Help!

teen_bored girlThe average American Teenager gets only seven hours of sleep per night, cramming it between school, homework, sports, and work, while research suggests they need closer to nine hours a night. Unfortunately, biology is working against them. According to Mary Carskadon, a Member of the Centre for Sleep Research at Brown University, as children get older, they are naturally more inclined to want to stay up later and sleep in longer. And, with school start times getting earlier, there is little time for teenagers to recover.

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August 29, 2018

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Prevent Teen E-Cigarette Use

Man vaping: Photo credit: Adobe Stock, Innovated Captures

Often resembling USB flash drives and coming in a variety of flavors, including various candies and fruits, e-cigarettes have soared in popularity among teenagers in recent years. In fact, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students - with the variety of flavors cited as one of the top reasons for use.

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July 26, 2018

World Health Organization Declares Video Game Addiction An Official Disorder

In the most recent draft of the 2018 International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the World Health Organization (WHO) now includes a section on “Gaming Disorder.” The new chapter focuses on disorders caused by the addictive nature of excessive online video game playing. However, merely playing video games for long periods of time doesn’t necessarily qualify a person as having an addictive disorder - the behavior has to significantly impair a person’s personal, family, social, or educational life.

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June 27, 2018

Resistance Exercises Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Depression

 

sport_gym with weightsDepression doesn’t discriminate, based on what age or demographic you belong to. Children suffering from anxiety and depression disorders are harder to diagnose than adults suffering from the same conditions, because they may not be able to articulate how they are feeling as clearly. However, there are signs that parents and school health professionals can look out for. A student suffering from anxiety and/or depression may see a decline in their academic success at school. They may struggle to focus in class and seem withdrawn. Though anxious children may attempt to keep their discomfort hidden out of sight, the toll their worry takes, in terms of physical and emotional costs as well as interfering with social and academic functioning, is one that schools should not overlook. But, what can schools do to combat this?  

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