Lisa Rapaport / Reuters
Babies who get homemade food may learn to like a wider variety of food types and be leaner than infants who eat store-bought products, a recent study suggests. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then advises mothers to keep nursing while starting to introduce solid foods.
Women who consume licorice during pregnancy might be more likely to have children with cognitive or behavioral problems than mothers who don't eat a lot of this candy while they're pregnant, a small Finnish study suggests.
Surgeons who get extra training to sharpen their communication skills may have an easier time explaining best and worst case scenarios to frail elderly patients as part of shared decision making, a small study suggests. For the study, researchers paid 25 surgeons to complete a two-hour training session on how to discuss a range of possible outcomes with patients and families. Before and after training, researchers analyzed transcripts of surgeons' interactions with patients and families, awarding up to 100 points for optimal communication.
Even though U.S. patients are supposed to have easy access to electronic copies of their medical records, copy fees can prevent people from getting this information when they need it, some doctors argue. Under federal guidelines issued last year, health providers are permitted to charge fees for labor, costs of creating electronic or paper copies of records and postage, Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues write in JAMA Internal Medicine.
As soccer has soared in popularity in recent decades, concussion rates for youth players have also surged, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined data on high school soccer players from 2005 to 2014 and found non-concussion injury rates declined for boys and were little changed for girls. But concussions increased in both male and female players.
Children are more likely to become overweight or obese during summer vacation than during the school year, a U.S. study suggests. The national study of more than 18,000 school children found that from the autumn start of kindergarten to the spring semester of second grade, the prevalence of obesity increased from 8.9 to 11.5 percent. During that same period, the proportion of overweight kids climbed from 23.3 to 28.7 percent.
Elderly hospital patients may be less likely to die prematurely or be readmitted for serious complications when they're treated by female physicians, a U.S. study suggests. With female doctors, patients had 4 percent lower odds of dying within a month after being admitted to the hospital and a 5 percent smaller chance of repeat hospitalizations within the first month after leaving the hospital, the study found. "The difference in mortality rates surprised us," said lead author Dr. Yusuke Tsugawa, a health policy researcher at Harvard University in Boston.
Traveling during the holidays is stressful enough without adding kids to the mix, and a new survey suggests that when children are involved, the trips can pose serious safety risks for little ones. That's because parents sometimes skip things like car seats and keeping medications or weapons out of reach, according to a new report from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll.
The best way to ease babies' pain during vaccinations may be to give them a sip of sugar and rub anesthetic cream on the injection site before they get shots, a recent experiment suggests. Sugar solutions and lidocaine cream have long been among the options some doctors use to make vaccinations less miserable for babies and parents alike. But there's not a lot of evidence to suggest exactly which combinations of pain relief might work best, researchers note in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
As school shootings become more common in the U.S., they're happening less often in states with mandatory background checks on gun and ammunition purchases, a recent study suggests. While rare, these shootings are now happening more than once a week, compared with less than once a year a generation ago, researchers report in the journal Injury Prevention.