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ASHA launches new Advocacy page
ASHA's Advocacy Committee has worked strategically to support school health issues and you can view a summary of the fruits of their labor on our new Advocacy page. Located in the "News & Events" section of our website, this new page houses ASHA's Priority Areas as well as its Core Beliefs in Action. Additionally, we will frequently update the page to reflect ASHA's latest advocacy "sign-ons" and "statements of support." You will also find information about ASHA's upcoming "Advocacy Forum" that will be presented at the Annual School Health Conference in October; ASHA's participation in the Student Health Advocacy Coalition; and coming soon, ASHA's position statements.
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ASHA's 2014 rebranding campaign recognition
Do you remember ASHA's old logo and website? It's been 7 months since we officially launched our rebrand, and now we are proud to announce that ASHA's 2014 rebranding campaign has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives as a 2015 Gold Circle Merit Award recipient. Fun fact: if you look closely at our logo, there is a heart-shaped outline between the larger and smaller silhouettes.
ASHA leadership update
Effective April 26, ASHA Director Terry Parker respectfully submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors. In accordance with ASHA's Bylaws President Linda Morse nominated, and the ASHA Board subsequently approved, Michael Mann to replace Parker. As background, Mann ran for the 2015 ASHA Board last year. Mann is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at West Virginia University. He earned his PhD in Health Education & Behavior from the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida. His professional background includes over 20 years serving children, adolescents, and their families as an alternative school teacher and administrator, the founder of a not-for-profit youth development organization, and a child and youth intervention/evaluation consultant. Michael has served on ASHA's Finance committee and is currently serving on the Research and Publications committee.
Register now for ASHA's School Health Conference!
Registration is now open for ASHA's 89th annual School Health Conference that is scheduled October 15-17 in Orlando, FL. ASHA has secured a discounted room rate of $149 per night plus tax at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista which will be available until Monday, September 14, 2015, or until the block is filled. Please call 1-800-782-4414 or reserve your room online and request the ASHA room block. Please visit our website for more conference details as well as discounts on Disney theme parks and golf courses.
Concussions cause school problems for children
The Science Times
In a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers have found that if your school age child suffers a concussion, how well he or she does after returning to school depends on how severe the concussion symptoms are and the grade level of the child. A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a fall, jolt or blow to the head that causes the brain and head to move back and forth rapidly. In most cases people recover from mild concussions rather quickly but the young and elderly can have symptoms that last for days or even weeks.
Laws against junk food in schools help rich students more than poor ones
Los Angeles Times
Since state laws made it harder for California elementary school kids to get their hands on sugary drinks and junk food snacks on campus, researchers found, students' risk of becoming overweight or obese fell slightly — but mostly if they came from higher-income neighborhoods. Examining body mass index measurements of 2,700,880 fifth-graders in the state over 10 years, researchers found that students in those neighborhoods saw their odds of exceeding a healthy weight fall by about 1 percent a year. For all other students, the trends remained essentially flat.
Kids' mental illness a 'public health crisis'
Childhood mental illness is a public health crisis that needs increased awareness and intervention, according to a report by the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on mental health care for children. "The Children's Mental Health Report" reveals that more kids are living with a psychiatric disease than cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. And yet, few are getting the help they need — making them more likely to drop out of school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and get tangled in the juvenile justice system. Harold Koplewicz, MD, the institute's co-founder and president, talks about the key findings and what parents can do to keep their kids healthy.
CDC: 1 in 10 children diagnosed with ADHD
HealthDay News via WebMD
One in 10 children and teens has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new government report. That number has remained relatively steady since 2007, according to government estimates. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report offers a snapshot of how many children and teens currently have ADHD. However, it's tough to draw conclusions from this data about the reasons for the findings, said lead author Patricia Pastor, a researcher in the CDC's Office of Analysis and Epidemiology.
Another study shows kids eating more healthy food at school, throwing less food away
United States Department of Agriculture
A new study published in Childhood Obesity has again confirmed that students are consuming healthier food at school as a result of the updated meal standards. The study further demonstrates that, contrary to anecdotal reports, the new standards are not contributing to an increase in plate waste. The study was conducted by researchers from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, the University of California Berkeley, and Yale University.
Friends or frenemies? Understanding bullying in schools
In our culture of 24/7 news cycles and social media connectedness, we have a better opportunity than ever before to bring attention to important issues. In the last few years, Americans have collectively paid attention to the issue of bullying like never before; millions of school children have been given a voice, all 50 states in the U.S. have passed anti-bullying legislation, and thousands of adults have been trained in important strategies to keep kids both physically and emotionally safe in their classrooms and schools. These are significant achievements.
Peanut allergy exposure occurs most often at home, study says
For children with peanut allergies, home is more dangerous than school, researchers say. The Canadian study also found schools that ban peanut products are not less likely to have an accidental exposure occur than schools that don't have these policies in place. "Our study looked at 1,941 children who had been diagnosed as being allergic to peanuts to determine how exposure occurs, how serious the outcomes of the exposure are, and what treatment is given," said the study's first author, Sabrine Cherkaoui, of the University of Montreal.
Why autism is different in the brains of girls than in boys
Autism, already a mysterious disorder, is even more puzzling when it comes to gender differences. For every girl diagnosed with autism, four boys are diagnosed, a disparity researchers don't yet fully understand. In a new study published in the journal Molecular Autism, researchers from the UC Davis MIND Institute tried to figure out a reason why. They looked at 112 boys and 27 girls with autism between ages 3 and 5 years old, as well as a control sample of 53 boys and 29 girls without autism. Using a process called diffusion-tensor imaging, the researchers looked at the corpus callosum — the largest neural fiber bundle in the brain — in the young kids. Prior research has shown differences in that area of the brain among people with autism.
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