children

S. Wray Clay of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, speaks during a presentation of the annual Kids Count report in East St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

“We need to do something different.”  

That was S. Wary Clay's message to parents during a presentation Thursday of the 2015 Kids Count report at the Lessie Bates Davis Family Development Center in East St. Louis.

St. Clair County, which includes East St. Louis, has a 30.3 percent childhood poverty rate, the second-highest for all counties in Illinois. Nearby Marion County's rate is 30.5 percent.

A new program at St. Louis County Library will give as many as 8,000 babies born in 2015 books to encourage early childhood literacy.
June Hymas, via Flickr

A new program aimed at promoting early childhood literacy is giving free books to newborns, starting in January.

Through its "Born to Read" program, St. Louis County Library plans to give the new parents of as many as 8,000 babies born at four participating hospitals in 2015 a gift bag, including: a board book, a bath toy, a milestone marker describing where children should be developmentally, instructions on how to get a library card,  and a calendar of literacy activities. 

(Courtesy University City Children's Center)

About 12,300 fewer children attended federally subsidized day cares in Missouri during fiscal year 2013 than in 2012. That marks the largest decline in the country. But child service nonprofits say it’s unlikely the decline is due entirely to a reduction in need. Instead, it may be due to changes within the state agency that administers the funds.

A protester on Aug. 16 in Ferguson
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

Images from Ferguson are everywhere.

It’s difficult to avoid news of Michael Brown’s death and the community response. And with students returning to school, educators are likely to encounter the topics in the classroom and seek guidance on how to discuss them. As discussed on St. Louis on the Air, different approaches are required for different age groups.

The Response in Early Childhood Classrooms

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Saint Louis County is seeing an unusual spike in a bacterial disease that affects children in daycare centers.

The county has received 71 reports of shigellosis since the start of 2014 ― that’s compared to only a couple of cases in the same time period last year.

Dr. Faisal Khan, the St. Louis County Department of Health's director of communicable disease control, said the disease has obvious symptoms.

(via Flickr/immeemz)

NPR has embarked on a project to compile a database that doesn't exist yet - a list of all of the accessible playgrounds in the United States. And they're looking for your help.

Playing on a playground seems like a common childhood activity where physical activity meets social interaction. But, for some children with disabilities, playing along with other kids on those playgrounds isn't easy, or even possible. 

U.S. CDC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 2008-2011. *Represents statistically significant annual decrease or increase in obesity.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.  to adjust y-axis units on graph and to add second map.

It's not a big change, but it's at least in the right direction.

According to a new report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of obesity among low-income preschoolers (ages 2-4) declined by at least one percentage point over the period from 2008 to 20011 in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing parents more time to give up newborns, requiring screening for a heart defect and dealing with mandatory reporters of child abuse.

Nixon held a bill signing ceremony Tuesday at St. Louis Children's Hospital. In front of dozens of doctors and child advocates, the Democratic governor signed a bill that he said will close a loophole for child abuse reporting.

(National Institutes of Health)

For years doctors have prescribed acid blockers to children with no symptoms of acid reflux to try to help control their asthma.

But a new study shows the anti-reflux medicine isn't helping.

The research followed more than 300 children between the ages of 6 and 17. In addition to an inhaled steroid, about half the children were given an acid blocker for six months, and half a placebo. None of the children had symptoms of acid reflux.

Chad Williams, Saint Louis University Medical Center

St. Louis is joining the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of child health ever conducted in the United States.

The study will follow 100,000 children nationwide from before birth to age 21.

Local study leader Louise Flick of Saint Louis University's School of Public Health says more than 4,000 children from St. Louis City, Jefferson County, and southwestern Illinois will be asked to participate.

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