* Epilepsy: When the diagnosis is wrong
If your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, get a second opinion immediately. Epilepsy is misdiagnosed in nearly a third of all cases, a new report has announced - an astonishing finding that has been supported by paediatricians 'in the field'.
This alarming rate has been confirmed by a report from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in the UK, and by evidence amassed in the Proceedings of the International League Against Epilepsy (BMJ, 2003; 326: 355).
* The sling's the thing
Many young mothers are forsaking the pram or pushchair for the baby sling - much to the concern of the medical profession, which feared that babies carried in this way may not be able to breathe properly.
Researchers decided to test whether babies are in danger. They monitored the health and wellbeing of 24 preterm and 12 term babies while in a sling and in a pram.
Not surprisingly, they could find no difference at all, except that babies in a pram were missing out on the closeness of the mother (Pediatrics, 2002; 110: 879-83).
* Preterms can catch up with the rest of them
Preterm babies with very low birthweights display a range of developmental disabilities during the first couple of years of life. But, by the time preterm children reach the age of 14 or 15 years, nearly three-quarters of them graduate from high school, and more than 40 per cent are enrolled in college programmes (JAMA, 2003; 289: 705-11).
* It's not just children being given too many jabs
The average family dog can be in line for 16 different vaccines a year, although they're often given in one shot. But, as with our children, dogs can also develop side-effects such as skin rash, allergic reactions and autoimmune disorders. Also, cats that have been vaccinated have suffered even worse reactions, including the development of malignant tumours (J Am Animal Hosp Assoc, 2003; 39: 119-31).