AdoptUSKids: An Adoption Option You May Not Have Considered

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aWhen we think of adopting a child, the we usually think of China, Eastern Europe, and Africa. But did you know that there are currently 402,000 children in the U.S. foster care system? Or that there are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. under 18 who are waiting to be adopted? Either way, you can help by becoming a foster parent or adopting a foster child. And AdoptUSKids is there to help you.

AdoptUSKids has two main goals. First, to educate the public about the need for foster and adoptive families, second, to “support States, Territories, and Tribes in their efforts to find families for children in foster care, particularly the most challenging to place” (which includes older kids, those who are part of a sibling groups, and children of color).

Since the launch of the campaign in 2004, more than 22,000 children who were once photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website are now with their adoptive families and over 35,000 families have registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids.

So what can you do?

Start by taking a look the videos and listen to some of the stories from adopted children and adoptive parents here: https://www.youtube.com/user/adoptuskids

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit  www.AdoptUSKids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Navigating Early Development in Today’s Girls

Louise Greenspan and Juliana Deardorff, co-authors of The New Puberty.
Topic:
How to navigate early development in today’s girls.
Issues: Why girls are developing earlier and what it means for their long-term health; things that can trigger early puberty (excess body fat, hormone-mimicing chemicals, emotional stressors at home); strategies to help prevent and/or manage early puberty.

29% of High School Students Use E-Cigarettes

National data have shown teen use of e-cigarettes is increasing steadily each year. A new survey of high school students in Hawaii found 29 percent have used e-cigarettes, which is substantially higher than previous estimates. The study, “Risk Factors for Exclusive E-Cigarette Use and Dual E-Cigarette Use and Tobacco Use in Adolescents,” in the January 2015 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 15), surveyed 1,941 high school students in Hawaii in 2013. Students reported their use of e-cigarettes, tobacco cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, as well as psychosocial factors related to substance use, such as parental support, academic involvement, peer smoking and sensation-seeking behaviors.

Researchers found 17 percent of students reported using e-cigarettes only, 12 percent used both e-cigarettes and cigarettes, and 3 percent used cigarettes only. Students who only used e-cigarettes had fewer psychosocial risk factors than students who used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. According to the study authors, this raises the possibility that e-cigarettes are recruiting medium-risk adolescents to cigarette smoking who otherwise would be less susceptible to tobacco use.

New HPV Vaccine Even More Effective than Before

The Food and Drug Administration just approved Gardasil 9, which covers nine types of HPV (Human Papillomavirus). The previous version of Gardasil covered only 4 types of the virus, which is responsible for many cancers and other conditions. According to the FDA, Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers, and genital warts. Current recommendations are that boys and girls be vaccinated starting at age 11. Anyone under 26 who hasn’t been vaccinated should be.

You’d think that with results like that, parents would be lining up to get their children vaccinated. But you’d be wrong. Way wrong. The New York City Health Department found earlier this year that only 47% of boys aged 13-17 and 64% of girls aged 13-17 in have received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine. In order to be most effective, three doses are recommended. But just 40% of girls aged 13-17 and 22% of boys aged 13-17 in New York City have received all three doses. Those numbers varied greatly, depending on the section of the city. In Manhattan, 45.5% to 60.2% of girls aged 13-17 and 15.7% to 26.1% of boys aged 13-17 received all three dose, says the Health Department. But in Staten Island, Central/Southern Brooklyn, and Greenpoint/Williamsburg, just 5.8% to 25.1% of girls aged 13-17 and 0% to 5.9% of boys aged 13-17 had received all three doses.
[Read more...]

Employed and At-Home Moms + The New Puberty


Deborah Kahn, author of The Roads Taken.
Topic:
Complex lives of employed and at-home mothers.
Issues: Is there an ideal work status? why do mothers change–or not change–their work status? can we really have it all? who gives us support? advantages and disadvantage of working or being at home; where do we go from here?

Louise Greenspan and Juliana Deardorff, co-authors of The New Puberty.
Topic:
How to navigate early development in today’s girls.
Issues: Why girls are developing earlier and what it means for their long-term health; things that can trigger early puberty (excess body fat, hormone-mimicing chemicals, emotional stressors at home); strategies to help prevent and/or manage early puberty.