Professionally applied dental sealants offer effective protection against tooth decay. Moreover, progress has been made over recent decades in getting these useful treatments to kids.
Still, the work is far from done. Overall, fewer than half of American children have received the thin plastic coatings applied to the biting surfaces of newly-erupted molars. Particularly concerning to health officials and oral health advocates is the shortage of sealants among low-income children, who face an elevated risk of disease and suffer from higher rates of untreated decay. Continue reading
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJSt. Petersburg-based pediatric psychiatrist Mark Cavitt said that the effects of chronic stress are more likely for those exposed to a greater number of adverse childhood events.
Science is increasingly clear that constant exposure to stress in youth affects their bodies in ways that alters their brains and changes their response systems, especially younger children exposed more challenges, experts told attendees of a Health Journalism 2017 panel in Orlando.
Panelists noted that stress, even in young children, can be good. It helps spark protective reactions to protect the body from harm – say, crossing a busy street. But studies have shown the constant bombardment of stressful situations in kids can have a serious, cumulative impact. Continue reading
Laura Klivans/KQEDDentist Richard Choi volunteers his time screening students at San Francisco’s public schools for overall oral health. He grew up in the Chinatown and North Beach communities and likes revisiting schools he once attended.
Oral health has improved for the children of San Francisco in recent years. The decay rate among kindergarteners has fallen nearly 10 percent since 2008, city health officials report.
The news is great, but there is a hitch. Not all children are sharing equally in reduced decay.
As is true across the United States, San Francisco’s children of color continue to bear a disproportionate burden of disease. Continue reading
Lead contamination continues to make headlines more than a year after the Flint municipal lead crisis in Michigan hit the national news. The public outcry over the government’s response to dealing with the Detroit suburb’s lead-contaminated water spurred reporters across the country to revisit lead issues for their audiences.
The problem goes beyond lead-tainted pipes that were contamination source in Flint. Continue reading
Photo: Jessica GriffinMore than 90 percent of the houses in Philadelphia were built before the 1978 lead paint ban. One, on Bonitz Street, belonged to a family featured in the project.
Reading through a recent story in the Philadelphia Daily News on lead plaguing the city’s houses, I realized the story had the same hard-driving investigative feel that I had read before.
The story, “Philly’s shame: City ignores thousands of poisoned kids,” paints a compelling multimedia picture of the historic city and the challenges it faces dealing with older homes shedding lead-tainted paint. Continue reading