Young children of depressed mothers are at heightened risk for behavioral problems and injury, new research shows.

The Study

A team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center looked at two years of data on more than 1,100 mother/child pairs taking part in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth.

During the study period, 94 of the children Call under age 6) suffered injuries serious enough to require medical attention. Two-thirds of the injuries occurred at home.

Children of mothers who had persistently high scores on measures of depression symptoms were more than twice as likely to be injured as children of mothers with low scores of depression symptoms.

The study also found that children (especially boys) of mothers with high depression scores were much more likely to have behavioral problems and to "act out."

The researchers concluded that every one point increase on a mother's depression score (on a scale of 0 to 60) was associated with a 4% increased risk for injury and a 6% increased risk for behavioral problems in children.

That held true even after the researchers took into account a number of major factors, such as household income, health insurance coverage and level of education.

The study was published in the journal Injury Prevention.


Depression in mothers may increase the risk of behavioral problems in children and, in turn, boost youngsters' risk of injury, said the study authors, who added that depression in mothers may also result in less supervision of children or increased number of injury hazards in the home.

Depressed Mothers, Troubled Kids

Children whose mothers are depressed are three times more likely to develop anxiety, behavioral disorders and serious depression than kids whose mothers are not depressed.

Good news: Children improve when their mothers' treatment for depression is successful.

Kids Can Get Kidney Stones, Too

Painful kidney stones typically occur in I middle-aged adults, but they are being seen more often now in children.

Possible reasons: Drinking too little water...consuming too much sodium...eating a lot of chocolate or nuts or drinking a lot of tea (both herbal and regular) all of which are high in oxalate, a substance that is commonly found in kidney stones.

Self-defense: Be sure your child has about eight eight-ounce glasses of liquids a day-as much as possible from water. Limit sodium in children's diets by cutting back on processed meats, frozen meals, fast food, packaged snack foods and convenience foods.

Trick to Getting Kids To Take Medicine

Help a child swallow bad-tasting medicine by first giving him/her a sticky food, such as applesauce or pudding. The food helps prevent the bad taste from coming through.

Alternative: Give the child a drop of honey or a chocolate chip before the medicine.

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