Over one-third of children with COVID-19 show no symptoms

Over one-third of children with COVID-19 show no symptomsMore than one-third of kids who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, according to a study that suggests youngsters diagnosed with the disease may represent just a fraction of those infected. “The concern from a public health perspective is that there is probably a lot of COVID-19 circulating in the community that people don’t even realize,” said Finlay…

Virtual tools help surgeons correct skull defects in babies

Virtual tools help surgeons correct skull defects in babiesRepairing a baby’s abnormal skull is a delicate balance between art and science that has to be decided before the first cut is ever made in corrective surgery. Now skilled surgeons have more tools to work with before gowning and gloving up, thanks to Émilie Robertson’s research. Robertson, a medical resident in plastic surgery who…

The compelling case against universal child care

The Quebec system offers an opportunity to dive deeply into outcomes. The results aren’t promising for children

The compelling case against universal child careAdvocates of state-run child care saw opportunity in the COVID-19 crisis. It’s an old idea but not a great one. Working parents returned home to care for their children, some able to continue paid work from home and others not. As a result, calls for universal child care grew louder than they had for 15…

Caesarean birth, prolonged labour influence childhood health: study

U of A researchers identify specific bacteria linked with changes in gut microbiome of infants

Caesarean birth, prolonged labour influence childhood health: studyEvents at birth may affect the microbes living in a baby's gut during the first few months of life, leading to a higher risk of childhood obesity and allergies, according to a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology. The researchers used data from the CHILD Cohort Study (CHILD) to look at the complex relationships between birth events, a…

Report card evaluates influences on children’s healthy food choices

Poor diet right behind tobacco consumption as leading cause of premature death for Canadians, says public health expert

Report card evaluates influences on children’s healthy food choicesEverything from advertising to school cafeteria menus can affect whether children develop lifelong healthy eating habits, according to the sixth annual Nutrition Report Card for Alberta. The report evaluates 39 indicators in five food “environments” – physical (what food is available?), economic (how affordable is healthy food?), communication (what messages are children getting about food through…

Little evidence vitamin D prevents severe COVID-19

Getting too much vitamin D can also cause health problems, says U of A pediatric kidney specialist

Little evidence vitamin D prevents severe COVID-19At the beginning of May, a pair of studies emerged suggesting people who are deficient in vitamin D are more likely to experience serious health complications if infected with COVID-19. Sales of the micronutrient soared as a scared public tried to gain any advantage they could over the virus. Unfortunately, University of Alberta pediatrics professor Todd…

Neonatal heart surgery survivors face kidney, blood pressure issues

Neonatal heart surgery survivors face kidney, blood pressure issuesBabies who have life-saving surgery for congenital heart problems within the first month of life face a lifelong risk of chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure, according to new research led by University of Alberta pediatric specialists. “We know that kidneys, like all organs, have to last a lifetime,” said Catherine Morgan, associate professor and interim…

How parents can help their kids succeed at online learning

Teamwork by parents, teachers and students is key, says U of A education expert who offers four ways to make it happen

How parents can help their kids succeed at online learningFor students learning from home this year, there will be some lingering challenges from last spring’s COVID-19 shutdown: parents busy balancing their own work needs, no in-person connection with teachers, technology headaches. But the best way to support online learners is through solid teamwork involving everyone in the equation, says a University of Alberta education…

Worse birth outcomes, higher pregnancy risk in poorest rural regions

Alberta researchers identify gradients of risk for preterm births, small and large size at birth, smoking and drug use by mothers

Worse birth outcomes, higher pregnancy risk in poorest rural regionsThe highest concentration of adverse birth outcomes and related maternal risk factors occur in rural areas of Alberta with the lowest socio-economic status, according to new research from the University of Alberta. “When it comes to perinatal health, postal code can be as important as your genetic code,” said perinatal epidemiologist Maria-Beatriz Ospina, assistant professor of obstetrics…

How to breathe easier while wearing a protective mask

Here are five ways to help people of all ages get used to wearing one

How to breathe easier while wearing a protective maskNow that masks are mandatory in schools and other public spaces in many jurisdictions, anyone nervous about wearing one may feel like they’re really going to suffocate – but there’s no reason to panic. Wearing a mask is safe and doesn’t physically limit breathing, said respirologist Christopher Ewing, of the U of A's Faculty of Medicine &…
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