Sign in

Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Children

In Elemental. More on Medium.

The science of early memories gives some fascinating answers

Photo: Izzy Park/Unsplash

I was almost six years old when the Gulf War broke. International coalition forces waged war in Iraq, and as a result, Iraq attacked Israel with long-range powerful Scud missiles. I vividly remember the sirens. I remember putting on the gas mask that was distributed to all Israelis due to fear of a chemical attack. I remember constantly having to rush to the “sealed room” — my parents’ bedroom, which had its windows sealed with duct tape to protect against a nerve gas attack. I remember an unfinished dinner with my favorite food that was interrupted by sirens. …


Some children infected with Covid-19 experience debilitating symptoms months later. Parents struggle to find out why.

Photo: Geber86/Getty Images

When 12-year-old Samantha got sick back in February 2020, her family believed it was a stomach bug. The healthy Los Angeles student so rarely got ill that her mother, Jamie Coker-Robertson, didn’t think much of her early symptoms. It was clear a virus was spreading through Samantha’s classroom, but most parents shrugged it off as a typical illness any child could expect to pick up at school in the winter months, such as a cold or flu.

Then, students began to “drop like flies,” says Coker-Robertson. “Half of her class was out for a week at a time.”

In previous…


Reopening schools would be a ‘crazy’ experiment in communities with rampant Covid-19 infections

Two children wearing face masks standing six feet apart waiting in line for school.
Two children wearing face masks standing six feet apart waiting in line for school.
Photo: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

Despite the intense eagerness to get kids back to school, reopening K-12 classrooms on the heels of this summer’s surge in Covid-19 cases in the United States looks more and more like a risky experiment — particularly amid emerging evidence that children are quite capable of carrying the coronavirus and are more contagious than previously realized.

Preliminary analyses in the early months of the pandemic suggested children were not significant carriers of the coronavirus. But time and further research have revealed that’s just not true.

  • Children five and younger can pack high levels of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19…


As politicians debate whether schools should reopen, scientists consider whether kids’ protection is biological or behavioral

Photo: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images

One of the biggest enigmas since the beginning of the pandemic has been how kids respond to the novel coronavirus. Children, particularly those under the age of 10, don’t appear to be as vulnerable to the virus as adults are, and scientists and pediatricians aren’t sure why. For one thing, this observation conflicts with the fact that children are typically more susceptible to respiratory infections. “In my field, almost everything infects kids more than it does adults,” says Alfin Vicencio, MD, chief of the division of pediatric pulmonology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. …


Illustration: Simone Noronha

Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar explain why we need to turn our attention to the most vulnerable among us

In the interdependent world of the 21st century, we are only as healthy or safe as the most vulnerable among us. Never has that been clearer — at least in our lifetimes — than in recent months, as countries grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. In the United States and the United Kingdom, where we live, the virus has disproportionately affected populations that were already vulnerable, including people of color, people in prison, and the elderly. And we are only just beginning to learn about the virus’ impact on one of the most vulnerable populations: children.

Initially the coronavirus was thought…


Research reveals how having warm, loving parents as a child helps you flourish as an adult

Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

A recent study out of Harvard has found that people who had warm, affectionate parents in childhood live better lives. Most of us consider it common sense that a parent’s love goes a long way, affecting a child’s well-being and health in the moment and for years to come. But the size of that impact may be larger than we think.

The search for what determines our health and happiness in life has become a science unto itself. This particular study isolated one factor: whether people experienced their parents as affectionate. The association was clear and consistent; people who remember…


A growing body of research says they’re mostly beneficial — especially in young kids. Here’s a doctor’s advice.

A worried mom on the phone, looking at a thermometer after taking the temperature of her son, who is in bed with a fever.
A worried mom on the phone, looking at a thermometer after taking the temperature of her son, who is in bed with a fever.
Photo: ljubaphoto/E+/Getty Images

Give me a fever, and I can cure any disease.— Hippocrates

Fever is one of the most misunderstood defense systems in the human body. Many people worry that fever is a sign of something dangerous. Parents give their kids Tylenol and ibuprofen the instant they spike a temperature and then flock to doctors to make sure their child does not have a serious infection. In fact, fever accounts for a whopping 20% of pediatric emergency department visits each year. As an emergency physician, this is a huge part of my clinical practice. …


Earlier and more frequent screenings are now advised to catch more children who might fall through the cracks

Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children get screened for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at their 18- and 24-month well-child checkups. Last week, those recommendations were significantly enhanced.

The new guidelines now recommend developmental and behavioral surveillance at nine, 18, and 30 months in addition to the standardized ASD screening at 18 and 24 months.

I am hopeful that this shift will reduce the number of children who experience social, academic, and behavioral challenges but miss out on early intervention therapies because they lack an actual ASD diagnosis.

This is what happened to me.

When I was…


Here’s what you need to know

Photo: fotog/Getty

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided on July 18 to keep the pesticide chlorpyrifos on the market, despite numerous studies linking it to brain disorders in children. In a move cheered by chemical manufacturers and agribusiness firms, the agency said there wasn’t enough evidence to tie chlorpyrifos to neurological defects, contradicting the scientific consensus and the EPA’s own research, which recommends that the substance be banned.

“By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump’s EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children’s brains,” said Patti Goldman, a lawyer…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store