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Children with mental health problems are spending more time in emergency rooms, according to a report from the Connecticut Health Investigative Team. In 2010, 40 children spent multiple nights in the emergency room for mental health issues. By the end of this year, C-HIT says that number is expected to rise to 500.

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As the school year gets underway, the number of child psychiatric visits generally increases. But children are facing long wait times in emergency rooms around the state, especially for those coming in with mental health emergencies. 

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit in South Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

Aug 28, 2014

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

An investigation out on Tuesday documents the abuse of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, and says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did not respond.

Alexis Jay, who authored the report, used to be chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

A federally-funded universal free lunch program is being introduced this year in the public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Springfield Public Schools will receive $15.4 million to provide lunch daily at no charge to any student who wants it.  Springfield Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick said the quality of the school lunches will improve with more vegetables and fruits on the menu.

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

Aug 21, 2014

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation that would require child-proof bottles for the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal hosted a roundtable discussion Monday on the issue of youth homelessness in Connecticut.

Peter Hvizdak

With school starting soon and temperatures beginning to cool, kids are looking back and wondering if they made the most of their summer. For those who attended New Haven's Eco Adventure Extreme Camp, the answer is likely: Yes!

Children as Young as Ten Battling Eating Disorders

Aug 12, 2014
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Thousands of Connecticut adults and children – some as young as ten – struggle with eating disorders with many suffering secretly because the life-threatening psychiatric condition has gone undiagnosed and untreated, experts in the field report.

The White House went on lockdown Thursday night and it was all for a pint-sized breach.

A toddler apparently got loose from his parents and made a run through the White House fence. If you've ever been to the White House, you know the Secret Service takes any breach very seriously. Plus, there's also guys with powerful guns on the roof.

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.

We can't resist passing along the phenomenon that is Noah Ritter, a young man who's taking the Internet by storm. The 5-year-old's interview at Pennsylvania's Wayne County Fair is a wonder of stream-of-consciousness, sprinkled heavily with one word: "apparently."

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What happens in our early childhood has a lot to do with how we develop as humans. Dr. Paul Harris researches the role the imagination plays in helping children grow into healthy adolescents. He says we tend to think of the imagination as something divorced from reality, when in fact it is deeply intertwined with how we determine reality from fantasy.

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A campaign to raise awareness about the problem of leaving children alone in hot cars is being launched in Connecticut, weeks after the death of a Ridgefield toddler. 

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Ten children were murdered in the state of Connecticut last year, according to the Office of Child Advocate's annual report that examines the deaths of infants and toddlers

United States Army Corps Of Engineers

Doctor Ulysses Wu, the chief of infectious diseases at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, said there are lot of things out there that can kill us. "Diptheria," he said, "tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilous influenzae, pneumococus, meningicocus..." 

Wu said immunizations against those diseases are one of the greatest advances in medical science known to mankind. 

Restraint and Seclusion, Legal in Public Schools

Jul 29, 2014
State of Connecticut Board of Education

A recent report by investigative news organization ProPublica exposes a controversial but legal practice in public schools. Students, often those with disabilities, can be restrained and secluded against their will. Nationwide, there are 20 known cases of death because of restraint or seclusion in the past two decades, with injuries far more common.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Restraint and seclusion is a legal, albeit controversial, practice in our nation's public schools. Students -- often those with disabilities -- can be restrained and secluded against their will. This can result, and has resulted on many occasions, in injury to the student. Nationwide, there are 20 known cases of death because of restraint or seclusion in the past two decades.

Chion Wolf

A mother who lost her son in the Newtown school shootings remains committed to ending gun violence. Nicole Hockley is Communications Director for Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, a first grader who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The recent FUSE scandal has raised questions about charter school oversight. Is this type of problem representative of the overall charter school system? We take a look at just how effective these schools are and how much oversight they have. We're joined by experts and we want to hear from you, especially if you have experience in the charter school system.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents. 

Ray Hardman / WNPR

The number of Connecticut children living in poverty has increased 50 percent since 1990, according to a new report.

Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

The mayors of Connecticut's cities will take part in a conference call this week to discuss whether their communities have space to host some of the children from Central America who have been flooding the U.S. border.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch are hosting the call on Friday. Harp said they will make the request to their counterparts in Hamden, Meriden, New Britain, East Hartford, Waterbury, Hartford, West Haven, Norwalk, and Stamford.

Many people are intensely interested in how publicly funded charter schools affect children, and that includes not just their academic achievement but their health.

Researchers from UCLA and the Rand Corp. wanted to know whether attending a high-performing charter school reduced the rates of risky health behaviors among low-income minority teenagers.

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Werner Oyanadel, Executive Director of Connecticut's Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, said on Monday that Latino and Puerto Rican advocates in Connecticut were disappointed with Governor Dannel Malloy's refusal to temporarily house 2,000 of the 52,000 Central American children requested by the federal government. 

They made sure their disappointment caught the attention of the governor.