children

Jan & Peggy / Flickr

An abnormally high number of babies in Central Washington have been diagnosed with a fatal defect since 2010. The cause is still unknown. State health officials are collecting data in hopes of learning more.

Anencephaly, in which babies born with their brains and skulls are not completely formed, is fatal - and pregnancies in Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties have been affected at a rate about four times above the national average. State health workers are conducting an investigation into what’s happening.

Northwest lawmakers are considering whether to make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

Legislative moves to limit school immunization exemptions are drawing vocal opposition from some parents. Opponents of mandatory vaccination crowded a public hearing at the state capitol in Olympia Tuesday, and the scene could repeat itself in Salem Wednesday.

Centers for Disease Control

Some Northwest lawmakers want to make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

US CPSC / Flickr

Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare said more calls are coming about bright and colorful laundry detergent packets this year, compared to last.

So far this year, 69 Idaho children have been exposed to the packets.  Forty of those went to the emergency room and five ended up in the hospital.

Niki Forbing-Orr is with the health department. She said there’s been a 30 percent increase in calls about the packets in Idaho this year.

Oregon Leads In Un-Vaccinated Kids

Oct 16, 2014
ILR / Flickr

 According to the report, in Idaho, 6.4 percent of kindergartners were exempt, while in Washington it was 4.7 percent.A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 7.1 percent of kindergartners in Oregon were exempted from vaccinations during last school year. Most of the exemptions were for religious or philosophic reasons.

That’s a far cry from just a few years ago when Washington has the highest rate of unvaccinated kindergartners in the county.

Wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

According to two new reports from the Washington Poison Center, the number of unintended marijuana poisonings in children in Washington state continues to go up. And now e-cigarettes are a growing concern.

In a report out today, the Washington Poison Control center says most of the cases of accidental marijuana poisoning are among older kids, ages 13 to 19.

But whether they're nine or 19, the results can be the same: When kids get into something they shouldn't -- like their parents' pot stash -- they can get sick.

When friends learn that my nearly six-year-old has been playing violin for three years, their voices shift a bit, especially if they also have a child learning an instrument. Two questions come in quick succession: "Does she like it?" and "How do you get her to practice?" There's a nervous energy to their queries, and usually a little laugh, too. Either they've been struggling with kids who have a hard time practicing, or they recall their own childhood boredom.

Bridget Coila / Flickr

Investigators still aren’t sure what is causing a cluster of birth defects in central Washington. The rate of the rare defect is four times the national average. Health officials met today to figure out what to do next.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Adoptions are usually private affairs, sealed forever in court documents and known only to the families involved. But recently, one decision by Idaho's child welfare service exploded into the public sphere. A foster mom in Rathdrum in north Idaho says the state made a terrible mistake when it took her foster daughter away after four years in her home. Correspondent Jessica Robinson brings us this glimpse into the life-changing decisions the state has to make about children – where often there are no easy answers.

Washington Needs Your Help In Birth Defect Mystery

May 15, 2014
Courtney Flatt / Earth Fix

Over the past three years, a rare birth defect has shown up Central Washington at about four times the national average. Now, the state health department is turning to the public for clues about what’s causing the fatal defect. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Lawmakers Examine Use Of School Seclusion Cells

Mar 4, 2013
Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Networ

When kids get severely out of control in class, some schools place the students in a "seclusion cell." It's sort of a "time-out" room where kids can calm down without posing a risk to themselves or others. A measure moving through the Oregon legislature would ban the use of the starkest version of these cells. But some mental health advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

SALEM, Ore. – A bill in Salem would make it harder for Oregon parents to opt out of immunizing their children. Virginia Alvino reports.

Iron Curtain Falls Around Russian Adoptions

Dec 31, 2012

Friday morning Russia banned the adoption of its children by Americans. One family in Washington State has reportedly made it through before the ban. They’re scheduled to fly home Saturday with their adoption complete, according to their adoption agency. As Carolyn Adolph reports from KUOW Seattle, that’s one bright spot in an otherwise bad situation.

Regrets

Sep 14, 2012

You know that saying, “No regrets?” It seems like a good way to live. But  NWPR commentator Corinna Nicolaou, says it’s not for her. She would rather keep all those regrets close by.

You can read more of Corinna's commentary at her blog.

Memories of TV Clown JP Patches

Jul 24, 2012
Photo by Bachcell / Wikimedia Commons

All over Western Washington, Baby-boomers who grew up watching TV here are remembering J.P. Patches. The TV clown whose real name was Chris Wedes passed away Sunday at the age of 84.

His popular kids program was broadcast on KIRO TV for 24 years, and for some of that time, it was on not once a day, but twice. Wedes shared that story in 2001 with KUOW’s Dave Beck.

Photo courtesy the Genesis Project

SEATAC, Wash. – Critics of backpage.com have accused the classifieds website of promoting child prostitution. The company has defended its policies but lawmakers in Olympia are considering new requirements for the site. They are also considering more funding for anti-prostitution programs. And where do they plan to get this extra money? From the Johns and pimps themselves. Azusa Uchikura has this profile of a program in SeaTac called the Genesis Project.

SEATTLE, Wash. - Many school districts are switching to electronic payment systems in their cafeterias. Parents can fund their kids’ accounts online, and even see what their kids are buying for lunch. But kids can also charge food when there’s no money in their accounts. Now Seattle Public Schools is trying to collect $12,000 in unpaid lunchroom debt. From KUOW in Seattle, Ann Dornfeld reports.