Newtown parents back study for clues to violence

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As parents, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel were plunged into grief when their only child, 6-year-old Avielle, was killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As scientists, they wanted answers about what could lead a person to commit such violence.

The couple believes it’s unlikely there ever will be a full answer explaining why a man gunned down 26 people inside the Newtown, Conn., school last year. But they feel more research into brain health — and how a propensity for violence is manifested — could help prevent future tragedies.

“When we started reaching out to scientists to talk about the underpinnings of violence and how this particular factor played a role in what happened to us, there is some, but no real, research going on this field,...


How Social Networks Influence Parents’ Decision to Vaccinate

With so much confusing and even misleading information about vaccine safety available on the Internet, it’s no surprise that parents are influenced by their friends’ attitudes when it comes to immunizing their kids.

At her son’s preschool near Seattle, Robin Haight is a foot soldier in the vaccine wars. She arranged for a pediatrician to speak about vaccines at the home of a school parent. She put up posters — she calls them “gentle propaganda” — that touted the importance of immunization in stopping the spread of disease. Her husband helped create a spreadsheet to track which children at the school are missing which vaccinations.

Some parents have said that Haight’s provaccination message has no place at preschool, that it’s disrespectful and patronizing, that the decision...


People, networks may sway parents’ vaccine choices

By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The people and information sources parents surround themselves with may influence their choice to vaccinate their children or not, according to a survey from one county in Washington state.

Of almost 200 parents who took the survey, almost all said they had groups of people offering advice on vaccination, but those who chose not to fully vaccinate their children were more likely to have larger social groups and to turn to other sources, such as books, pamphlets and the Internet, for guidance.

“The take-home message from this is that the social networks for the majority of parents are extremely important in affecting vaccination decisions,” said Emily Brunson, the study’s author from Texas State Univ...


A Wild Bet: Can Inoculating Newborns with Innocuous Strains of Bacteria Save Them from Deadly Ones?

By Mark Lamport-Stokes AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Watched by huge galleries, the ‘Big Three’ of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player launched the 77th Masters on Thursday while Bubba Watson prepared to begin his title defense later in the day. On an overcast morning at Augusta National, four-times champion Palmer, three-times winner Player and Nicklaus, who won a record six green jackets, hit the ceremonial first shots at the par-four opening hole. …


Breakfast cereal tied to lower BMI for kids

By Kathryn Doyle

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Regularly eating cereal for breakfast is tied to healthy weight for kids, according to a new study that endorses making breakfast cereal accessible to low-income kids to help fight childhood obesity.

One in every four American children lives in a food insecure household where breakfast isn’t a sure thing, lead author Dr. Lana Frantzen told Reuters Health.

“(Cereal) is an excellent breakfast choice, it’s simple, and gets those essential nutrients that children need, especially low income minority children,” who tend to be hit hardest by childhood obesity and related health problems, said Frantzen, who is employed by Dairy MAX, a regional dairy council in Grand Prairie, Texas.

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