Steven Depolo / Creative Commons license

Exposure to a trio of common chemicals can affect developing babies’ brains. But it’s unclear what role those chemicals play as kids get older. One Brown University researcher aims to find out.

Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Since about 2007, the percent of all hospitalizations of kids 18 and under for a mental health reason has nearly doubled. According to state public health data, there have been a steady number of total hospitalizations - about 20,000 - for kids statewide. In 2002, the percent admitted for a mental disorder was between six and eight percent for kids with private insurance or Medicaid, and quite low for uninsured kids. Today it's between 10 and 12 percent across the board.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Fewer elementary and middle school students in Rhode Island are obese. That’s according to a new analysis from Rhode Island Kids Count. But the needle isn’t budging on obesity in high schoolers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Childhood asthma rates are on the rise across the country. In Rhode Island, it’s about 12 percent, according to the state health department - one of the highest rates in New England. Hiding in that statistic: in some inner city schools, almost half the kids have asthma. Now, a new program aims to help some of the most vulnerable kids manage their asthma better in school, with a little help from their peers.

An athlete with asthma

If you’ve never had an asthma attack, here’s what it’s like:

Children are worse off in Rhode Island than in the rest of New England. But there are some bright spots in an annual report about kids’ well-being.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

That depends on your priorities. But first, here's what's at issue:

The state’s health department is considering updates to its immunization policy for school kids from preschool through college. The proposals would require flu shots for kids up to age five and the HPV vaccine for kids entering ninth grade.

Aaron Read / RIPR

About 4500 parents who used to have health insurance through RIte Care, the state’s Medicaid program, will have to reapply for insurance if they want to remain covered after the end of the month. The biggest concern is that the poorest Rhode Islanders may not be able to afford it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On this World Diabetes Day, I decided to look into the prevalence of diabetes in Rhode Island and find out whether diagnoses are on the rise. They are, unsurprisingly. Check out this interactive map from the CDC that shows the increase in diabetes rates over time in each Rhode Island county.

National Institute of Mental Health

Stress can affect developing brains, including the kind of stress that poverty can create. But a strong caregiver can mediate those effects. Those are the findings of a new study in the Journal JAMA Pediatrics. It's not news that stress and poverty can have negative effects.

(PROVIDENCE, RI) A new report from the Pew Center on the States finds that Rhode Island is falling behind when it comes to meet children’s dental health needs.