All Articles by Lindsey Barton Straus, JD

Get Kids Outside for Better Health, Study Urges

For American parents who want their kids to be fit, focused and feeling good, the first step is get them outside, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), which has just issued a health report, Whole Child: Developing Mind, Body and Spirit through Outdoor Play as part of the group's Be Out There campaign.

Parents' Concussion Knowledge Limited But Support For Mandatory School Policies Strong

A 2010 national survey by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the University of Michigan of parents of chidren age 12 to 17 years playing school sports reported a surprising lack of knowledge by parents of concussion risks despite the fact that more than six in ten were at least somewhat worried their children will suffer a concussion while playing school sports.

Female ACL Injury Prevention Programs Work Despite Questions

ACL injury prevention programs for female athletes such as the Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance (PEP) program have value, despite lingering doubts about their effectiveness raised in a new study. While there is evidence that injury prevention programs may reduce the risk of some knee injuries, additional research in necessary, said the study author.

Simple Low-Cost Tool Identifies Female Athletes at High Risk for ACL Injury

Female athletes are at signficantly greater risk of ACL injuries than male athletes. Up to now, predicting whether a female athlete was at risk for an ACL injury required expensive and complex laboratory-based motion analysis systems, such as those used in creating video games. Now it will be possible  to predict whether an athlete is high risk for anterior cruciate ligament injuries using a simple, low-cost tool in a doctor's office, report the authors of a new study. 

Physical Fitness Linked to Better Standardized Test Results in Middle School: Study

Middle-school students with higher levels of physical fitness fared better on standardized tests than students who were less fit., according to new research. The study suggests that cutting physical education classes to focus on academics might be counterproductive.

Skin Infections in Athletics: Preventing, Recognizing & Treating

Skin infections in athletes, including community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), are extremely common.  The nature of athletics, which expose the skin to a wide variety of stresses, trauma, environmental factors, and infectious agents, all combine to continually attack the integrity of the skin and lead to considerable disruption to individual and team activities.  A new position statement by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, says that recognition of skin diseases is absolutely essential, particularly by certified athletic trainers, who "represent the first line of defense against spread of infections to other team members."

Sports Camps Are MRSA Hot Spots

As your child goes off to camp this summer, whether it be a sports- or old-fashioned general-interest camp, health experts say parents and kids need to be on the lookout for MRSA and other skin infections.  Because kids at camp live in close quarters where they tend to share athletic equipment, towels and clothing,  camps, especially sports camps, can be MRSA hot spots.

Child's Level of Physical Activity, Parental Limits Influence Daily Screen Time

While one out of four children and teens 9 to 15 years old watch more than the recommended limit of two hours of television per day, those who play sports and those whose parents set consistent rules about television viewing are less likely to exceed  limits on screen time, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

Concussion Risk in Youth Ice Hockey Triples When Body-Checking Allowed

A Canadian study finding that the risk of concussion  in youth ice hockey leagues that allow body-checking is triple that in leagues that do not, is likely to fuel calls to extend the ban on body-checking to 11- and 12-year-olds playing at the Pee Wee level

Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Advice for Parents

Updated water safety and drowning prevention advice for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) drops the group's opposition to early swimming lessons for infants and toddlers and highlights the risks of inflatable pools, and body entrapment and hair entanglement in pool drains.