Supporting vulnerable migrant children now living in Canada

Supporting vulnerable migrant children now living in CanadaOf more than 33 million international child migrants, most are from Africa and Asia, according to UNICEF estimates. Many carry the scarring trauma of war, gun violence, poverty and human trafficking. Some travel with their parents, some alone. But not much is known about how these children fare once displaced. As a result, their physical…

COVID-19 puts girls in low- and middle-income countries in peril

COVID-19 puts girls in low- and middle-income countries in perilAn increase in child marriages, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexual violence is likely to be seen for years in low-and middle-income countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a University of Alberta nursing researcher who is leading an international study to address the problem. “In many countries all the health services…

Measuring the risk of heart disease, diabetes in obese children

Type of cholesterol produced as food consumed a strong predictor of future health risk

University of Alberta researchers have found a new, more effective way to measure future heart disease and diabetes risk in youth. By testing the blood for remnant cholesterol (RC), made by the body during the day as food is consumed, researchers were able to show that this non-fasting type of cholesterol is a strong predictor…

Program launched to diagnose genetic diseases in children

Children are disproportionately affected as genetic diseases typically manifest during childhood

Program launched to diagnose genetic diseases in childrenA new pilot program aims to find answers and better treatments for children living with rare genetic conditions. The Undiagnosed Disease Program, launched in January, is a collaboration between the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) and University of Alberta researchers from medical genetics and pediatric neurology to provide a diagnosis to patients in the…

Traumatic childhood stress can lead to brain changes in adulthood

New findings an important step toward developing potential new treatments for mental health disorders

Traumatic childhood stress can lead to brain changes in adulthoodA groundbreaking new study has shown that traumatic or stressful events in childhood may lead to tiny changes in key brain structures that can now be identified decades later. The study is the first to show that trauma or maltreatment during a child’s early years – a well-known risk factor for developing mental health conditions such as…

Canada’s divorce system discriminates against men

Federal Child Support Guidelines biased against men and need to be overhauled

Canada’s divorce system discriminates against menIf Christopher Sarlo is right, Canada’s Federal Child Support Guidelines are wrong. The economics professor at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont., made an in-depth analysis of the guidelines and found them wanting. A 100-page examination leads him to one conclusion: the guidelines are biased against men and deserve an overhaul. Fights over money are…

Pioneering heart transplant expert named to Order of Canada

Pioneering heart transplant expert named to Order of CanadaWhen University of Alberta pediatric cardiologist Lori West was put in charge of the transplant program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in 1994, the situation was dire for newborns with bad hearts. Up until the first infant heart transplant in 1986, children born with certain kinds of heart malformations had a 100 per cent…

A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxiety

Follow the evidence - and science

A user’s guide to coping in an age of anxietyTimothy Caulfield suggests trying the following thought experiment. It’s far-fetched to be sure, but to test the “stranger danger” hypothesis – known to cause considerable anxiety among today’s parents – imagine placing your child alone on the street as bait for some shady character in a white van. How long would it take for that child…

Weighing the risks of youth sports in a pandemic

Weighing the risks of youth sports in a pandemicWe’re in the midst of both a COVID-19 pandemic and a childhood physical inactivity epidemic. That creates a dilemma for young athletes and their parents: Is the risk of playing organized sports during the pandemic greater than the risk of the negative physical and mental impacts of not playing? Young people need to move their…

Researchers detect early signs of autism in at-risk infants

Some of the earliest signs apparent quite early in life – for many children even by the first birthday

Researchers detect early signs of autism in at-risk infantsMedical researchers reliably predicted autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a large sample of at-risk children by identifying and tracking early behavioural signs at 12 months of age, according to study findings published Dec. 25 in Child Development. “This research really reinforces what parents have been telling us for so many years,” said principal investigator Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, pediatrician…
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