children

Trust For America's Health / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

One of every three adult Kansans was obese in 2015, ranking the state seventh in the country in an annual report. Kansas also was one of only two states where obesity rates increased from the previous year.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

About a dozen people gathered at the Johnson County Public Library on Saturday to learn how to start a child care businesses.

Several area organizations led people through the process of starting a business, obtaining proper licenses and getting certified to care for young children. 

It's part of an effort to support low-income families in Johnson County, says Chris Schneweis, a senior management analyst with the Johnson County manager’s office. 

He says a work group at the county Board of Commissioners identified a need for more at-home child care providers. 

Plenty of parents know the struggle of dealing with a toddler or teenager who hasn't slept well, but few realize their own habits could be affecting their child's rest. On today's program, we explore when it's time to worry about your kid's nighttime routine.

Guests:

  • Dr. Kevin Smith is a clinical psychologist who works in pediatric sleep medicine at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is pediatrician at Pediatric Associates Kansas City.
Sarah Long / Joyful Photography

Funding cuts and changes for children’s programs across the state became a reality at the start of this month — and that means fewer Kansas families will receive some services.

An official with TARC, a Shawnee County organization that serves people with developmental disabilities, said the nonprofit was out of options for administrative cuts in the wake of state funding reductions.

KIDS COUNT/aecf.org

Both Kansas and Missouri stayed in the middle tier of states in the new KIDS COUNT survey released Tuesday, but Kansas had the third-largest drop in child well-being ratings in the nation.

Overall, Kansas fell from 15th place last year to 19th.  Missouri slipped from 26th to 28th. 

Health scores improved for Missouri kids but slid 11 places for Kansas. 

Missouri came up three positions on economic well-being, Kansas held steady at No. 9.

While the call of a cool pool is strong during our hot Midwestern summers, staying safe in and around bodies of water is paramount. Swimming lessons for the kids is a big help, but a supervisor who knows how to respond in the event of a submersion injury could save a life.

Guests:

Rotary Club of Nagpur / Flickr-CC

Starting tonight and for an entire week, the Glenwood Arts theater is screening the documentary “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” which was withdrawn from the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year amid an uproar over its thesis: that there’s a link between the mandatory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, and that health authorities have conspired to cover it up.

Courtesy Coffeyville USD 445

Children’s programs across the state are scrambling to deal with grant cuts that take effect at the start of July.

The cuts come from a $3.3 million reduction in funding for the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, which uses the state’s share of the 1998 master settlement agreement with large tobacco companies to provide grants through the Children’s Initiatives Fund for programs for children and families.

File photo

This story was updated at 4:47 p.m.

Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, is stepping down after 19 years at the nonprofit advocacy organization.

Cotsoradis is leaving to assume “a leadership role” at the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative, LLC, according to a KAC news release issued Monday morning. She has served in the top role at KAC for the last six years and recently has been one of the more vocal critics of Gov. Sam Brownback's social policies.

With the birth of his first-born, Brian Gordon quickly learned that parenting wasn't exactly what he'd expected, much less what had been promised. So Gordon turned to cartooning, creating a duck family to comment on the joys and pains of parenthood in Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting

For those who suffer from food allergies, limiting certain foods can be a matter of life or death. Even though we’ve come a long way in understanding these allergies, more children are being diagnosed with them.

Guests:

  • Dr. Chitra Dinakar is a pediatric allergy & immunology physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She’s also a professor of pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is with Pediatric Associates of Kansas City.

Autism is often talked about as a checklist of different challenges and deficits, but how can we approach autism in a more balanced way? Author Barry Prizant explains how to see these so-called deficits as normal human behaviors. 

Guest:

  • Barry Prizant, Ph.D. is the and author of Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism.

Re-Inventing Classic Playground Games

Mar 30, 2016
Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Do you remember playing hopscotch, red rover and four square at recess? On this edition of Up to Date, we discuss classic games with a twist for today's players.

Guests:

Courtesy Historic Kansas City

“Adult" coloring books are hot right now. Some 12 million coloring books sold in 2015, up from just 1 million the year before, according to the Nielsen Bookscan.

Some claim coloring is therapeutic. It’s undeniably nostalgic, but no matter the reason, The First Kansas City Coloring Book resurfacing now is certainly an example of good timing.

Heartland Health Monitor

No one speaking Tuesday to the Senate Ways and Means Committee argued the Legislature could be trusted to direct funds to their intended purpose.

The only question was what arrangement would make it least likely that lawmakers would use funds for children’s programs, highways and other designated purpose instead to plug holes in the state general fund budget.

Jillian Shoptaw / KCUR

Since 2002, The Mortified Podcast has been showcasing adults sharing artifacts from their childhood, most notably, readings from their diaries. 

A few gracious Kansas Citians agreed to dig out their journals and read their most embarrassing entries at a recent KCUR Podcast Party. These are stories about love, anxiety, and angsty rock music.

Sole custody of children became the court's model when divorce became frequent in the 60s and 70s. In recent years, however, co-parenting has made headway as an alternative to the current model.

Guests:

  • Tiffany D. Taylor is a Kansas City, Kansas resident and author of the children’s book, 2 Halves Make Me Whole which tells her own co-parenting story through the lens of her young son
  • Dr. Ned Holstein is the founder and chairman of the National Parents Organization.

Is the United States' education model broken? We ask an advocate for progressive education what's wrong with the current standard and look at a Liberty, Missouri school that has turned classrooms into innovative, project-based studios.

Guests:

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that prevalence of human papillomavirus has been dropping since the vaccine was recommended a decade ago. Yet nationally in adolescents, four out of 10 girls and six out of 10 boys haven’t had it. 

Guests:

  • Dr. Barbara Pahud specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
  • Dr. Natasha Burgert is a physician with Pediatric Associates of Kansas City. 

Since the 1950s, injuries have replaced infectious diseases as the biggest threat to children's health. Most of these injuries, however, are easily preventable. 

  • Dr. Dale Elizabeth Jarka is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at The Children’s Mercy Hospital.

We know the violent tragedies by the cities where they happened — San Bernardino, Paris, Newtown. Seeing the casualties and the details of what happened can be difficult for anyone to deal with them. But how do you explain these events and what they mean to a child?

Guests:

  • Amy Nine is a social worker at Comanche Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District.
  • Dr. Rochelle Harris is a clinical psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR 89.3

Joe Nunnink says he has "the greatest job in the world."  The Kansas City-native is the master builder at Legoland Discovery Center at Crown Center.    

Nunnink played with Legos as a kid, but had set the iconic toys aside for more ‘grown up” art utensils when he went to the Kansas City Art Institute to study animation. After graduating, Joe worked as a bank teller while searching for another job.

Tammy Worth / Heartland Health Monitor

One of the first graders in Lori Williams’ classroom is clearly restless during the students’ morning community circle.

As the children discuss their weekly goals, how to be a good citizen and what integrity means, the young girl is distracted. She wriggles and shifts, pulls both arms through a shirt sleeve and eventually checks out, turning her back to the group and walking her hands up the chalkboard.

Losing a loved one to violence is extremely difficult, but family members of the deceased are turning to each other not only for support but to enact change. KC Mothers In Charge, now in its second year, is leading a special effort in that direction. On this edition of Up to Date, we learn how the group is working to make Kansas City safer for its children.  

Guests:

The L.A. Times recently ran a story on a counter-intuitive study that shows that children raised in non-religious homes “are more generous and altruistic than children from observant families.” The Ethics Professors discuss the role religion plays in instilling morals. 

Guests:

 The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City is out with a new report that looks back at the successes and setbacks of the last decade when it comes to the region's health. We discuss the report's findings on healthy eating and active living, tobacco prevention, oral health, behavioral health and physical health.

Guests:

Esti Alvarez / Flickr-CC

Most adults in Missouri who work with children are required by law to report any suspected child abuse to the state. Too often, child advocates say, reports don’t get made but they hope to fix that later this year.

Two years ago the law requiring child abuse to be reported to the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services drastically changed.

For years teachers, coaches or other youth workers had to report suspicions to a supervisor. Now state law requires those reports to be made directly to state investigators.

Julia Szabo / KCUR

On Tuesday, the Kansas State Board of Education will be presented with some disturbing numbers.

In the past five years, the number of teachers leaving Kansas to teach in other states has steadily grown.

Julia Szabo / KCUR

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in July 2015.    

In the next couple of years, Kansas education will face some of its most unstable times ever.

The Legislature has cut classroom funding. There’s no school finance formula and the the whole system may be thrown into chaos depending on what the state Supreme Court does.

All of this is all taking a toll on recruiting and retaining teachers, and there's mounting evidence that Kansas teachers are becoming disenchanted. And out-of-state districts are taking advantage.

Alex Smith / KCUR

Since 2000, money that was supposed to be used primarily for early childhood development in Kansas has been repeatedly raided by the Legislature to help balance the state's budget. Now, says Kansas Action for Children in a report released Wednesday, the Kansas Endowment for Youth (KEY) Fund will be almost depleted in two years.

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