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Not Your Imagination: Your Siblings May Be Quite Literally Driving You Crazy

Common sense tells us "brothers fight," but a new study suggests scrapes and scuffles between siblings may have mental health consequences.

Anyone with siblings -- any number, younger or older, take your pick -- has thought at some point that the person with whom they share parents (and toys and meals and sometimes, God forbid, a bedroom) is out to do nothing on this planet but drive you mad. It turns out, that might be closer to the truth than anyone is comfortable with. A recent study at the University of New Hampshire suggests that sibling-on-sibling violence can have the same detrimental effects on mental health as every day bullying. 

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Texting and Driving’s the New Drinking and Driving, at Least Among Teens

At this point, it really shouldn't take another study to show us that texting and driving is not safe. But another study showing that is exactly what we have this week, with a paper published today in the journal Pediatrics showing that texting and driving is now responsible for more car accidents -- and more fatalities -- among teen drivers than drunk driving. 

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Bounce House Injuries Increased 15-Fold Over 15 Years

They may have been stuffy, reeked of vomit, and adorned with the bootleg visages of iconic cartoon characters, but thousands of folks have experienced the kind of childhood joy that only comes from a day spent in an inflatable bounce house. Perhaps the lot of us have just being blinded by nostalgia, because a recent study has shown that bounce house injuries increased 15-fold between 1995 and 2010 and will most likely continue to grow, reminding us that they were nothing but inflated houses of rubber built on our pain and tears.

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Study: SpongeBob Causes Kids to Underperform at Cognitive Tasks in the Short Term

Who lives in a pineapple under a sea and apparently causes children to underperform at cognitive executive functions afterward? SpongeBob SquarePants! At least, that's what research led by Angeline S. Lillard published in the journal Pediatrics seems to indicate. In the study, 60 4-year-olds were randomly assigned a nine minute task. Some were allowed to draw and color freely, others were shown a slow-paced television cartoon from the Public Broadcasting educational lineup. The last group was shown nine minutes of a fast paced cartoon, which was apparently identified as “a very popular fantastical cartoon about an animated sponge that lives under the sea.” In their excellent report on the study, the Washington Post confirmed that the show in question was SpongeBob SquarePants.

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Doctors Increasingly Refusing to Treat Unvaccinated Children

Though the tenuous "evidence" connecting childhood vaccination to autism has been dismissed not only as bad science but actual fraud, the trend of parents refusing to vaccinate their children continues. So much so that doctors are increasingly refusing to serve as primary physicians for unvaccinated children. In the past, medical ethics boards have concluded that pediatricians have no obligation to treat unvaccinated patients, who can potentially endanger the health of other children waiting for treatment. ABC news reports:
Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics has in the past deemed it ethical to dismiss patients who refuse to get their children vaccinated, and offers a clinical guideline as well as an online toolkit on how to handle the pertinent issues.
The issue is partly a moral one, in that doctors want the freedom to provide what they believe is the best care. But it's also a safety concern, with some doctors fearing that their waiting room could become a vector for the spread of nasty diseases like the measles. It presents a real ethical quandary to doctors, since on one hand they have the long-term welfare of a child to consider and on the other the herd-immunity of an entire community. Taking a hardline on this issue certainly affirms the physicians faith in objective science and the protection of a group over an individual. But that image does not jibe with how many view medical practitioners: as impartial healers dedicated to the protection of all people. It's hard to fault either side, though. Ultimately the parents and the doctors have the welfare of children at heart, though perhaps with a different perspective. Certainly, doctors must be held accountable for their actions and not allowed to run wild without restraint -- as they have in the past. But I find myself sympathizing with the men and women in medicine who are backed the amazing history of vaccination. Eradicating deadly and debilitating diseases from the face of the Earth is, to me at least, hard to beat. (ABC News via Fark, image via Wikimedia)

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