4:39 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

New documentary on growing up in poverty and pollution

Credit Geraint Rowland / Flickr

Reports about pollution and environmental degradation can easily seem like something that happens somewhere else.

And when the impact isn't visible on the surface, the health effects can go unchecked and be devastating for children.

In a new State of Opportunity documentary airing this Thursday, Michigan Radio's Lester Graham, looks at the impact of environmental pollution on children who live in poverty. 

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11:21 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Childhood trauma knows no geographical boundaries

Credit Freedom House / Flickr

Monday's Morning Edition broadcast featured an interview with 23-year-old Amina Salwan, a survivor of chemical attacks in Syria. In her conversation with Steve Inskeep she described the gassing incident that impacted her area and neighbors. But what was also striking was her description of working with traumatized children of the civil war. 

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3:56 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

What's this about car seats and race?

Credit Jolie / Flickr

A new study about race and car seat safety was released today.

Since the press release came out, there's been more focus on race and less on safety

Not surprising, really. To most of us race is more interesting and certainly more controversial than car seats. To play into this reality, the press release announcing the study has the title,"White parents more likely to use age-appropriate car seats than non-whites." 

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8:00 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Childhood trauma leads to significant health problems later in life

Nadine Burke Harris

How We Talk about Trauma

Usually we think of childhood trauma in terms of the social and emotional issues that can manifest later in life. Which certainly are significant.  But what we’re learning now is that exposure to early adversity has significant impacts on physical health outcomes, and represents a public health crisis.

Try to imagine this.  It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon.  Beautiful day. 

You’re hiking alone in the forest.  And then you hear some rustling leaves behind you. 

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6:37 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Dental care at school, no appointment necessary

Dental hygienist Julie Hilton cleans teeth in a corner of the school library at Congress Elementary in Grand Rapids.
Credit Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Beneath a purple poster for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and between shelves of books, a third grader slides into the vinyl dentist’s chair.

For most of the year, this space is the library at Congress Elementary in Grand Rapids. But since school began last week, this corner of the library has been a dentist’s office.

"Okay, open up big, I want to see those new teeth," says dental hygienist Julie Hilton.

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9:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

In the Story Booth: why don't guys like ZUMBA?

Credit The Corner Health Center

The Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti is a place adolescents and the children of adolescents can get affordable, high quality health care.  Staff and patients at the Corner are featured in this story about why more Medicaid-eligible teenagers in the state aren't getting signed up.

We also took State of Opportunity's story booth to the clinic this summer to talk to teenagers involved in a summer fitness program called "Turn the Corner." 

The stories are full of honesty, humor and a fair amount of well-deserved teenage skepticism. Listen in to Josh Cornett, Desiree Trim, and Reyannah Nelson Chambers share stories about body image, guys who like  ZUMBA, and society needing to give teens the benefit of the doubt.

This audio postcard  was produced by Gabrielle Emanuel. 

12:06 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Why aren't teenagers taking advantage of no-cost insurance?

A teen in the Turn the Corner fitness program and an instructor at The Corner health center in Ypsilanti. The Corner works to deliver preventative health services to adolescents and tries to sign them up for government sponsored insurance.
Credit Sarah Alvarez

Earlier this year, Jacquise Purifoy had a problem many people are familiar with. Purifoy is an attorney, but she was between jobs and tangled in health insurance red tape, so she and her daughter went without health insurance for about half a year.

Purifoy admits she may have "buried her head in the sand," a little bit. She also says a combination of pride and a desire not to take up scarce government resources kept her from seeing if she could qualify her 17-year old daughter Jasmine for Medicaid or MIchild.

Purifoy thinks she probably could have qualified for one of these state and federally funded insurance programs that come at no-cost to the beneficiary. But instead she made sure to take her daughter for a full range of preventative doctor visits before her insurance ran out, and then just hoped there wouldn't be an emergency before she was insured again. 

Then she got a call from Jasmine, who has asthma and a heart condition. 

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1:47 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Gap Watch: Food Allergy risk in children tied to race and ethnicity

Credit Steven River / flickr

Royal Oak based Beaumont Children's Hospital is trying to raise awareness about a kids health disparity that until now has not gotten much attention, the gap in food allergies. 

Food allergies in children are rising across the board, says Devang Doshi, the chief of Pediatric allergy and immunology at Beaumont Children's Hospital. "We used to see about 3% in the nineties, but now we're up to 6-8% of pediatric patients that have food allergies." says Doshi. 

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6:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Drug shortages are affecting children in the NICU

Bo Velarde-Chan, age 6, needs daily IV fluids to keep his body healthy
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Earlier this month, we came across this article in the Washingtonian entitled "Children Are Dying." It blew our minds. Could babies really be dying in neonatal intensive care units across the country because of drug shortages? We decided to check it out for ourselves to see if it was happening in Michigan.

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9:41 am
Fri April 19, 2013

What the research is showing about talking to and about your kids

Most common child descriptors
Credit The Atlantic /

Reporting on a University of Connecticut study, The Atlantic prettied up data on how parents around the world describe describe their children.

Sarah Harkness and Charles Super, researchers in human development, found that, according to The Atlantic, "Not only are Americans far more likely to focus on their children's intelligence and cognitive skills, they are also far less likely to describe them as 'happy' or 'easy' children to parent." Harkness called this focus nearly obsessive in that it ignores other aspects of early childhood development.

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