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Kids' Health Quickies: SIDS, asthma and more

If you have kids, you know that there are so many health issues to keep track of. Here's a little help:

A New SIDS Fighter: Using a fan in your baby's room can slash the risk of sudden infant death syndrome more than 70 percent, reports a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Keeping air moving may prevent carbon dioxide from pooling around a sleeping baby.

Asthma Predictor: The lowly rhinovirus, the most common cause of colds, may set kids up for asthma. Toddlers who wheeze during colds are ten times more likely to develop asthma by age 6 compared with those who don't suffer breathing problems during a case of the sniffles, say researchers from the University of Wisconsin.

Double D: Children need 400 IU of vitamin D daily -- twice the previous recommendation -- to prevent deficiency and rickets, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group now recommends a D supplement for breastfed babies as well as infants and toddlers who drink less than 32 ounces of formula or milk daily.

Sneeze Relief: If your preschooler is constantly achooing, you've got a new option: The FDA has approved Nasacort AQ for children ages 2 to 5. Research shows the once-a-day nasal spray can improve symptoms associated with year-round allergies.

Read more from the February issue of Parenting Early Years

Milking It: Giving children with a milk allergy increasing amounts of milk over time may ease -- and even help them overcome -- their intolerance, finds a small study from Hopkins University Children's Center. These early findings suggest that it may be possible to retrain the immune system, and may be the basis for the first real treatment of food allergies. Super-important note: Don't try this without M.D. supervision.

Good Shot: Kids who haven't been immunized for chicken pox and then get exposed to the virus can still benefit from the vaccine. An Australian study found that children who got the shot within three days of hanging around an infected friend were 72 percent less likely to catch the virus themselves.

A Big Fat Problem: Chronic health problems associated with overweight adults are striking more children: The number of kids ages 5 to 19 on drugs for Type 2 diabetes doubled between 2002 and 2005, according to a study in Pediatrics. The number on cholesterol meds jumped 15 percent.

Play On: Another reason not to stress so much about video games: New research confirms they can boost problem-solving ability and dexterity, according to findings presented at an American Psychological Association meeting.

Read more from the February issue of Parenting School Years

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