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We can't live in fear : Helping kids cope with terrorism

May 24, 2017, 12:09 PM

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Helping ease kids' fears after Manchester attack

As reports of the carnage at Monday's Ariana Grande show in Manchester , England, continue to pour in, many teens with tickets to concerts during the coming summer music season may be reluctant to attend an event.

But child and adolescent psychiatrists say it's important that parents let their teens follow through on their plans, even if the adults themselves are anxious about their letting kids go out.

"It's never good for teenagers to learn the lesson that they need to avoid things that scare them," said Dr. Matthew Lorber, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "You have to face your fears.

"Now, that's going to conflict with parents' own fears," Lorber added. "But we wind up having teenagers who grow up to be highly anxious adults with things like panic attacks when they learn the message from their parents to be afraid of everything. That's a dangerous thing. Anxiety is partially learned, and it gets learned from parents."

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena that claimed the lives of at least 22 concertgoers .

The explosion occurred in an entrance hall just as the concert was ending and crowds of teens and even younger children had started filing out of the arena. The bomb maimed as well as killed, with at least 59 people hospitalized.

SMG, the Pennsylvania-based company that manages the Manchester Arena , told  The New York Times  that security at the site was as tight as anywhere in the United States.

"Backpacks are not allowed. Drinks are taken away from people," said Wes Westley, SMG's president and chief executive. "You have to go through very strict security to enter the arena."

Dr. Victor Fornari is director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. He said it's important for parents to emphasize to their children that such terror attacks aren't common and kids need to understand that.

"We want to reassure them that this was a rare event and concerts are safe places, generally," Fornari said. "The truth is that most people are good. Unfortunately, there are people who wish to do these bad things, but the world is generally a safe place."

Parents should talk with their kids about the attack , said Lorber, who noted that the topic already is coming up in his office.

"If parents don't talk to their kids about this, other kids will," Lorber said. "They're going to be getting the gory details, no matter what. It's important that parents give the details to their children because they can deliver it in the most subtle, tactful way."

Parents should let children lead the discussion, urging them to ask as many questions as they have "because kids have a ton of questions," he said.

The answers to those questions need to be open and honest, using language the kids will understand with information appropriate to their age, Fornari said.

This also

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Chocolate linked to lower risk for heart condition

Eating a little chocolate regularly may lower the odds for a common and potentially dangerous heart condition called atrial fibrillation, or AFib, say Harvard researchers.

Past studies have linked eating  cocoa products , such as dark chocolate, with cardiovascular benefits, but there hasn't been a lot of research on chocolate and atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat condition linked with a higher risk for stroke and heart failure, said study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, an epidemiology instructor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Some people with AFib describe the irregular heartbeat as feeling like a fluttering sensation.

Mostofsky and her colleagues analyzed a large Danish database of 55,502 men and women, combing through information on their dietary habits and health conditions recorded at the start of the Danish diet and cancer study. The scientists analyzed later health diagnoses, too, gleaned from a national patient database.

The authors found 3,346 cases of atrial fibrillation were diagnosed during the 13.5 years following the study's start.

When they looked at chocolate eating habits , they found that atrial fibrillation risk was:

  • 10 percent lower for people who ate 1 to 3 servings per month
  • 17 percent lower for people who ate 1 serving per week
  • 20 percent lower for people who ate 2 to 6 servings per week
  • 16 percent lower for people who ate one or more serving per day

A serving size was equal to one ounce – about 3 or 4 squares of chocolate. The data was similar for men and women, the authors noted.

The new findings are exciting, said Mostofsky, because there is very little research on atrial fibrillation and lifestyle factors.

"What we're saying here is that moderate chocolate consumption may be part of a healthy diet," Mostofsky told CBS News. Their findings are published in the journal Heart .

An estimated 2.7 to 6.1 million people in the United States have AFib, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number is expected to rise as the U.S. population continues to age.

"Unfortunately, there are no effective, proven therapies for the primary prevention of AF," experts from the Duke Center for Atrial Fibrillation at Duke University write in an accompanying editorial , so an easy, tasty way to reduce the risk would certainly be welcome. However, they sound a note of caution. 

"It is exciting to think about the potential for fun public health announcements, such as 'Eat more chocolate and prevent AF!' ... However, is this message too good to be true?" they write. They say more research is needed and note a number of limitations in the Danish study group: the participants were almost exclusively white; socioeconomic levels, which may affect health status, were not tracked; and the chocolate consumers had lower levels of other risk factors including hypertension and diabetes.

The study didn't look at the type of chocolate consumed, but Mostofsky said the darker the chocolate, the more flavanols it contains, an antioxidant that may promote healthy blood vessel

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Report finds link between daily glass of alcohol and breast cancer

May 23, 2017, 6:46 PM

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Best and worst states for kids' car safety

Making sure children are properly buckled up in the car is the single biggest thing that could be done to save young lives in car crashes, according to a new study that looked at traffic deaths state by state. 

The researchers also found that some states do much better than others when it comes to children's survival in car crashes.

Using data from Department of Transportation reports on motor vehicle accidents involving children, along with information from the U.S. Census on how many children live in each state, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital were able to compare death rates state by state. Their study is published in The Journal of Pediatrics. 

Between 2010 and 2014, the data showed that 18,116 children were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes and 15.9 percent died.

Rates were calculated as the number of deaths in each state for every 100,000 children under the age of 15.

The five states with the lowest rates of death:

  1. Massachusetts 0.25
  2. New York 0.29
  3. New Jersey 0.32
  4. Washington 0.33
  5. Rhode Island 0.33

The five states with the highest rates of death:

  1. West Virginia 2.16
  2. Montana 2.23
  3. Alabama 2.71
  4. Wyoming 3.06
  5. Mississippi 3.23

"We looked at a ton of variables: characteristics of kids, state policies, locations of crashes . Being unrestrained or inappropriately restrained was the biggest factor in more kids dying," said the study's lead author Dr. Lindsey L. Wolf, a general surgery resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a research fellow at the Center for Surgery and Public Health there.

"In severe car crashes, 20 percent of kids nationally, across the board, were not restrained or were misrestrained," Wolf told CBS News.

In Mississippi – the state with the worst track record on seatbelts – 38 percent of children who died in crashes were not restrained or were improperly buckled . On the flip side, only 5 percent of children in Washington state who died in accidents were not restrained properly.

Seatbelt education efforts have been pretty strong in recent years, said Wolf, including updated car seat recommendations for children published in 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, so the findings came as somewhat of a surprise to the authors.

"The death rates were way higher than we expected them to be," Wolf said.

The states with the highest child fatalities due to car accidents tended to be more rural. For example, 92 percent of crashes in Montana and 89 percent of crashes in Wyoming occurred on rural roads.

"There's information that generally these roads may not be as well-maintained and they may be less well lit and more windy – some characteristics that may lead to these severe crashes," said Wolf.

Parents living in rural areas need to be aware that the risks there are higher and that they're driving as carefully as possible, and to make sure children are buckled up correctly in car seats , according to their size and weight, Wolf added.

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of

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