Last week, a child showed up at the MidMichigan Health Medical Center in Clare with a suspicious set of symptoms. The child’s visit led to a phone call. That phone call led to an arrest.

Police told a local TV news station the child’s dad had been cooking methamphetamine inside the home. Yesterday, I reported that a record number of children were exposed to meth production last year in Michigan. The Clare case shows the problem hasn’t stopped this year, either.

When I was reporting the story, I called a doctor at the health center where the child showed up last week. Dr. Abid Khan isn’t the one who saw the child. But he is an expert on addiction. He runs a clinic at the center, and meets with addicts regularly.

He told me the way addiction is treated today is all wrong.

Sharyn Morrow / Flickr

Dr. Vincent Felitti, father of the seminal Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study that has informed so much of State of Opportunity’s reporting and recently this NPR series, was recently in Michigan for a conference on how adverse childhood experiences affect health.

Gabi Menashe / Flickr

The Michigan League for Public Policy released its latest Kids Count report this morning. The report tries to quantify how our state's children are doing, by breaking down dozens of indicators. My colleague Lindsey Smith has the scoop on the overall trends: some education indicators are improving, while poverty rates and neglect cases are on the rise.

Kent County working to encourage more parents to vaccinate

Jan 23, 2015
Steve and Sara Emry / Flickr

Unvaccinated kids could be responsible for recent trouble at the "happiest place on earth". Disneyland has a measles outbreak, which has infected 59 people so far, and spread to four other states in addition to Mexico.

Andrew Mason / Flickr

To educate our readers and avoid being redundant, we're creating a series of "explainer" posts on the topics we refer to a lot. This is one of them.

The teenage brain is full of opportunity. It's malleable,  almost like plastic, and can be changed. This makes adolescence a chance to really reshape the brain. 

The teenage brain is constantly changing

5 things to know about childhood trauma

Dec 5, 2014
leeroy09481 / flickr

To educate our readers and avoid being redundant, we're creating a series of "explainer" posts on the topics we refer to a lot. This is one of them.

Eva Petoskey

Suicide is a major public health problem for American Indians. The suicide rate for American Indian teenagers in particular is 2.5 times higher than the national average. I took a trip over the summer to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Reservation in Suttons Bay to talk with folks in the community about the issue.

When I visited the reservation, it was rainy, no sun in sight, but that didn't stop a couple thousand people from making the trek to the reservation for the annual powwow. The Anishinaabe word is "Jiingtamok." 

Turns out you can tell a lot about an infant's socioeconomic background based on what he eats. "The tentacles of income inequality find their way into many different aspects of life, and food is a particularly apt example," writes Washington Post reporter Roberto Ferdman. New research shows that babies who eat lots of foods high in sugar and fat come from poorer, less educated households compared to babies whose parents follow suggested infant feeding guidelines. Not only can these high fat/sugar foods impact a child's growth, but research indicates it can also "negatively impact a child's long-term health, eating habits, and food preferences."

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Organizers of the Get the Lead Out program in Grand Rapids are trying right now to get the word out for people to apply for assistance with lead removal in their homes.

As we’ve reported before on State of Opportunity, lead is one of the most dangerous chemicals in the environment affecting young children.

In Grand Rapids, the funds for lead removal may soon dry up. And the push is on to fix as many homes as possible before that happens.

I walk up the driveway next to a yellow house on the southeast side of Grand Rapids. Next door, a dog barks. At the yellow house, a man stands on a ladder, cutting away some vinyl trim. His work area is marked off with an ominous stretch of red tape. The dog and I are on the other side of it.

"Am I allowed to come on this side?" I ask.

"No, you’re not," the man says.

User: Guillermo Ossa / Stockvault

Here's the dilemma: You are one of the many American parents with a kid in day care. The kid gets a sniffle or a cold. The day care calls you to take them home. You have to take a sick day. And now, you have to get a doctor's note just to get your kid back into day care. 

The need for that note is sending a lot of parents to the emergency room or urgent care unnecessarily, says Dr. Andrew Hashikawa, an emergency doctor at the University of Michigan. And those barely sick kids? There's no need to keep them out of day care.