Baby yawning
Jill M / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Parents should share a room with their babies for at least the first six months of their lives, according to updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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It's officially fall. The leaves are changing colors. Cooler temperatures on the way. And if you're like me, you're about to crank up the thermostat.

But for many low-income families, the heating season presents a "heat or eat" dilemma. They are forced to choose between buying food and paying for utilities.

mom and son in front of house
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

It isn’t easy to kick a drug or alcohol addiction. In 2013, there were an estimated 21.6 million people with substance abuse disorders. Only 18% of them got any kind of treatment.

If you’re a mother or a pregnant woman, getting clean can be even tougher. But there are an increasing number of programs that are trying to break down some of the barriers these women face. I drove to Richmond, Michigan to visit one program that's trying to make it easier for those women to get the help they need. 

asthma inhaler
Christian Guthier / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

About 24 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma. And more than 6 million of them are children.

The percentage of U.S. kids with asthma doubled in the 1980s and 1990s. And it continued to increase steadily until the trend changed in 2013, according to NPR.

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Child hunger is a problem that is widespread across the country. About 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. live in "food insecure" households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

School is back in session.

That means millions of kids nationwide – about 500,000 in Michigan – who rely on free and reduced-priced school meals are once again receiving them.

Those meals make a huge difference for the millions of families that struggle with hunger at home.

But here's some good news.

A Health Blog / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

As many as one in five kids in the U.S. shows signs of a mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, or ADHD. And nearly 80% of those who need mental health services won't get them, according to NPR.

Left untreated, these disorders can lead to failure in school, behavioral problems, and in the most extreme cases, suicide.

birth control pills
thoughtcatalog.com / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

I've got great news to end the week. Teen pregnancy is way down.

But it's not because teens are having less sex.

According to a new study published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health the reason is pretty simple: Teens are using more, and more effective, contraceptives.

Births to teens age 15 to 19 dropped by 36% from 2007 to 2013. Teen pregnancies decreased by 25% from 2007 to 2011.

Hospital Beds
Presidencia de la República Mexicana / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Hospitals seem to prefer kids with private insurance over those with public insurance, and it shows in how they're treated.

That's according to a recent paper by Princeton economists Diane Alexander and Janet Currie.

The researchers looked at hospital billings from New Jersey, for kids who visited any emergency room between 2006 and 2012.

toddler playing in water
swong95765 / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I remember playing outside almost every day until the street lights came on.

Riding bikes. Hanging out with friends at the park. Long before tablets and smart phones were a source of entertainment.

But a recent survey of 1,001 parents with kids between ages 4 and 14 found kids today spend much less time playing outside than their parents did.