ADHD Diagnoses in Children

Erin O’Connor

13 min Read Erin O’Connor

Erin O’Connor

ADHD Diagnoses in Children

Answering your questions with Erin O’Connor, EdD

Erin O’Connor

13 min Read

There is nothing harder in parenting than being told there is something of concern with our child. A health concern, a developmental concern, a socioemotional concern. We want the path for our children to be as smooth as possible. Of course, it isn’t always smooth.

When the bumps appear, sometimes it’s clear how to deal with them. We have a sense of what to do when our kids are sick with normal childhood illness, for example. But there are other cases in which the struggles of these concerns are compounded by a feeling that we do not know how to handle them. One clear example of this, for me, is the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Many parents write to me about this. Their questions are often similar: My child’s teacher said they are worried about ADHD; how worried should I be? Or My child was diagnosed with ADHD — what do we do? I’m overwhelmed by the treatment options.

This problem is hard, in part because our data is fairly limited.

One thing we know clearly is that diagnoses of ADD/ADHD have increased over the past several decades — from 6.1% in 1997-1998 to 10.2% by 2016.

To see this in more granular detail, I pulled data from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey for 2010, 2016, and 2021 and graphed ADD/ADHD diagnoses (they are combined in the data) by age. There is some evidence of an increase in the more recent years here, largely in the older age groups. Diagnoses among younger children are still quite uncommon.

So diagnoses have increased over time. What is less clear is why. It seems very likely that at least some — possibly all — of the increase is driven by changes in diagnosis. This doesn’t necessarily mean overdiagnosis; greater awareness could lead to more diagnosis because a condition was previously underdiagnosed. It is also possible that some aspect of the environment has increased the prevalence of the condition. Heritability is thought to be about 75%, leaving some share of variation to be due to possibly modifiable factors. (For example: as I have discussed elsewhere, ADHD diagnoses are more likely in kids who are younger for their grade. I’ve also written about the question of Tylenol in pregnancy and this diagnosis or others.)

Even more complex is the question of what to do, as a parent, in response to this diagnosis, or a suggestion of a diagnosis. There isn’t an obvious data-oriented path. Instead, the right path requires a thoughtful, probably slow, approach to figuring out what works for your family.

I wanted to give a sense of how to approach these discussions, but it is very much outside my wheelhouse. So I’m delighted that Erin O’Connor agreed to weigh in on this topic, framed by a few specific questions from you.

—Emily


Reader questions on ADHD

My child is being tested for ADHD, and I’m worried about her being put on medication. I know it could help, but I also worry about side effects. Is this something that gets overdiagnosed and overmedicated? What questions should we be asking to ensure she’s being treated well? I worry it will change her personality and her spirit, but I also struggle with all the behavior challenges we consistently come up against. Do I just need to try harder as a parent? Is this something we could have solved by being stricter or something else? I worry that it’s a reflection on bad parenting as much as I worry about my child. Thanks so much.

—Seeking the Best for My Kid

Erin: A common theme among all parents, and especially those of children with ADD/ADHD, is concern that their parenting caused their children to experience challenges. While there is no valid research showing that parenting in any way causes ADHD, there is extensive research that ADHD is a neurological condition and that children with ADHD can benefit immensely from environmental support.

For example, studies using the gold-standard research design of a randomized control trial have found that children with ADD/ADHD whose parents receive education around how to support them with their executive functioning skills showed lower levels of behavior challenges than those whose parents did not.

Asking questions of your child’s teacher and physician is very important as you determine the best ways to support her. An effective diagnosis of ADD/ADHD involves compiling a complete picture of the child in the home and school settings. For a child to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD they have to show symptomatic behaviors, such as difficulty completing tasks and/or hyperactivity, across both settings. Therefore, when thinking about questions to ask, it would be helpful to check in with your child’s teacher and see if the observed behavior is similar to what you’re observing at home. You’ll also want to ask if the behavior is consistent throughout the day or if it’s more prevalent at certain times of day (for example, in the afternoon when your child is tired) and whether the behavior seems more extreme than that of their peers.

Questions for your child’s physician may focus more on examining other factors that may be at the root of some of your child’s behaviors. Some medical conditions can cause symptoms similar to ADD/ADHD, such as hyperthyroidism. So you may want to ask your physician if they have explored other potential sources for some of your child’s behavior. You will also want to ask your physician what type of medication they are thinking of prescribing and whether your child will be taking it every day. Some children benefit from taking some stimulants, for example, only during the school day, while other children benefit from more frequent and longer-lasting medications.

Diagnosis of ADD/ADHD also requires standardized testing around attention and behavior, usually conducted by a neuropsychologist. When meeting with a neuropsychologist, ask them what tests they are conducting and in what setting. An important point to note in regard to testing is that many children with ADD/ADHD often perform well on tests in new settings, as the stimulus of a new environment can help them focus. You may, therefore, ask if they will also be observing your child at school or another more familiar setting if testing is conducted in their office.

In addition to asking your child’s teacher and physician questions, you will want to put together some information from your interactions with your child. Diagnosis requires that there is a history of behaviors over time. Compiling a list for yourself of behaviors that concern you, when you first noticed them, and where and how often they occur is an important part of the process.

Many parents report that one of the more challenging parts of supporting their child with ADD/ADHD is the decision around whether or not to medicate. Medication has been proven very safe and effective in the treatment of ADD/ADHD symptoms. There are multiple medications that can be used, but a commonality among all of them is that they help with focusing. As Edward Hallowell and John Ratey note in their well-known book on ADD/ADHD, Driven to Distraction, medication acts as “internal eyeglasses,” helping the brain filter out competing stimuli or distractions and focus on one task at a time. Research does not show that medications change a child’s personality and interests. However, they can have some side effects. You can discuss and manage these in partnership with your doctor and child.

You raise another important question regarding the prevalence of diagnosis and whether ADD/ADHD is potentially being overdiagnosed. As Emily noted at the top, rates of diagnosis, especially in North America, have gone up precipitously in the past two decades. Such an increase has led many people to question whether some of this may reflect misdiagnosis. While that is always a possibility, as we learn more about ADD/ADHD and how children (and adults) respond to treatment, and the often high co-occurrence of ADD/ADHD with learning differences, experts are beginning to think it may actually be underdiagnosed. Underdiagnosis may be of special concern among girls and children of color.

My daughter is in pre-K. At our last check-in with her teachers, they suggested that she is somewhat behind her peers in being able to complete multi-step processes, pay attention during circle time, and keep track of her belongings. They did agree that there’s huge variation in kids at this stage, but they also noted that this is an area of her development to closely watch. I’m left wondering how young is too young to start thinking about learning differences. On one hand, 4 seems very young to know if a kid needs support or is just a bit immature (or maybe constitutionally absent-minded, like at least one of her parents). On the other hand, if there are early interventions that can help if she could use it, and wouldn’t hurt or create other future challenges if she doesn’t, then it seems like trying those as early as possible would make sense. 

—Katie

Erin: Getting feedback around behaviors like these, which involve such wide variation at a young age, is tricky. As you note, you want to support your child but also don’t want to jump to any conclusions too quickly. A note before we delve more into your questions. We often think of ADD/ADHD as a learning difference. But ADD/ADHD is a neurological condition, in which rates of learning differences are higher than among the general population. ADD can occur without hyperactivity (ADD) or with hyperactivity (ADHD), as well as primarily involve inattentive (difficulty completing tasks, loses things) and/or hyperactive/impulsive behaviors (fidgeting, extremely active).

Generally, learning and many neurological differences, especially ADD/ADHD, are not diagnosed until a child has been in school for a few years. Early on there can be some signs of learning differences, including communicating less often or differently than their same-age peers, early fine or gross motor differences, thinking through and solving problems in ways that vary from their peers, and challenges interacting with peers. That being said, so much of what you’re describing in your pre-K daughter is common, and that’s because at this age, it can be hard to decipher between developing executive functioning skills and other factors (like learning differences). Before considering whether your daughter does, in fact, have a learning difference, let’s lay out what executive function skills are and why they’re important. Executive function skills are skills housed in your prefrontal cortex and consist of three components: cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibitory control. In other words, executive function skills allow us to successfully get things done in life (focus our attention on something, think flexibly, remember rules, etc.). Despite being such important skills, we aren’t born with these. Rather, they develop over time.

That’s why a case like your daughter’s isn’t clear-cut, because while your daughter could have a learning difference, she’s also at an age where her executive function skills are developing, and some children (and adults) have trouble with executive function skills. This looks different in everyone. In fact, the signs of executive function challenges can present very similarly to ADD/ADHD (which makes sense, because ADHD is directly related to issues with executive function). All this is to say, if your child does have issues with executive function, it does not necessarily mean your child has a learning difference or ADHD.

Regardless of an ADD/ADHD or learning difference diagnosis, as a parent, you can support executive function skills at home. These recommendations are relevant for all parents, regardless of learning differences, especially as these skills are continuing to develop in young children. You can help your child stay on task by using timers to support them. For younger kids (under 7), make sure to use a visual timer, as their understanding of time isn’t solidified yet. If you’re giving multi-step directions, be as detailed as possible. Instead of “Get ready for school,” you can break the task up into detailed and manageable steps. For example, “First, brush your teeth. Next, pick out your clothes.” You can also ask your child to repeat directions as you list them. Routines can also be critical for children. Their brains are wired to detect patterns, so if they know what to expect, they’re more likely to be able to get it done. Consider establishing a strong routine around going to sleep and getting ready for school.

Aside from understanding that there’s a ton of development happening at this age (brain development is fast-tracked in the first five years of life), there are questions you can ask and steps you can take before beginning the evaluation process. Check in with your daughter’s teacher. As much information as you can gather is helpful. Is her focus and ability to complete multi-step directions consistent throughout the day and across specialties (for example, is this behavior seen in gym too)? Regarding her belongings, can you ask for concrete examples? Make sure to ask your daughter’s teacher what interventions they’ve put in place to support your child in the classroom around organization and multi-step directions. For example, is there a visual to go along with the directions?

How you respond to your child’s challenges has a lot to do with you and your temperament. Of course you want to support your child in the best possible way, but the way in which you act is related to your temperament too. If you find yourself antsy for answers, you may be likely to search for those earlier through interventions. If you’re more comfortable with a waiting game, there can be value in waiting and watching.

My 5½-year-old was just diagnosed with ADD, and I’m terrified of making the wrong decision on medicating him or not.

—Caitlin

Erin: Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer as to when the best age is to start medication for ADD/ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child with ADD over 5 should start taking medication and receive behavioral support as soon as they are diagnosed, while a child under 5 should start with behavioral supports before taking medication. Medication is often part of the treatment plan, but education, behavioral modification, and coaching are all important and necessary parts of supporting children and adults with ADD/ADHD as well.

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Learning to Speak

Learning to Speak With Michael Frank

Emily Oster

Instagram

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We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy. 

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙

We are better writers than influencers, I promise. Thanks to our kids for filming our unboxing videos. People make this look way too easy.

Only two weeks until our book “The Unexpected” is here! Preorder at the link in my bio. 💙
...

Exciting news! We have new, high-quality data that says it’s safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy and there is no link between Tylenol exposure and neurodevelopmental issues in kids. Comment “Link” for a DM to an article exploring this groundbreaking study.

While doctors have long said Tylenol was safe, confusing studies, panic headlines, and even a lawsuit have continually stoked fears in parents. As a result, many pregnant women have chosen not to take it, even if it would help them.

This is why good data is so important! When we can trust the data, we can trust our choices. And this study shows there is no blame to be placed on pregnant women here. So if you have a migraine or fever, please take your Tylenol.

#tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancyhealth #pregnancytips #parentdata #emilyoster

Exciting news! We have new, high-quality data that says it’s safe to take Tylenol during pregnancy and there is no link between Tylenol exposure and neurodevelopmental issues in kids. Comment “Link” for a DM to an article exploring this groundbreaking study.

While doctors have long said Tylenol was safe, confusing studies, panic headlines, and even a lawsuit have continually stoked fears in parents. As a result, many pregnant women have chosen not to take it, even if it would help them.

This is why good data is so important! When we can trust the data, we can trust our choices. And this study shows there is no blame to be placed on pregnant women here. So if you have a migraine or fever, please take your Tylenol.

#tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancyhealth #pregnancytips #parentdata #emilyoster
...

How many words should kids say — and when? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about language development!

For this graph, researchers used a standardized measure of vocabulary size. Parents were given a survey and checked off all the words and sentences they have heard their child say.

They found that the average child—the 50th percentile line—at 24 months has about 300 words. A child at the 10th percentile—near the bottom of the distribution—has only about 50 words. On the other end, a child at the 90th percentile has close to 600 words. One main takeaway from these graphs is the explosion of language after fourteen or sixteen months. 

What’s valuable about this data is it can give us something beyond a general guideline about when to consider early intervention, and also provide reassurance that there is a significant range in this distribution at all young ages. 

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords

How many words should kids say — and when? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about language development!

For this graph, researchers used a standardized measure of vocabulary size. Parents were given a survey and checked off all the words and sentences they have heard their child say.

They found that the average child—the 50th percentile line—at 24 months has about 300 words. A child at the 10th percentile—near the bottom of the distribution—has only about 50 words. On the other end, a child at the 90th percentile has close to 600 words. One main takeaway from these graphs is the explosion of language after fourteen or sixteen months.

What’s valuable about this data is it can give us something beyond a general guideline about when to consider early intervention, and also provide reassurance that there is a significant range in this distribution at all young ages.

#cribsheet #emilyoster #parentdata #languagedevelopment #firstwords
...

I saw this and literally laughed out loud 😂 Thank you @adamgrant for sharing this gem! Someone let me know who originally created this masterpiece so I can give them the proper credit.

I saw this and literally laughed out loud 😂 Thank you @adamgrant for sharing this gem! Someone let me know who originally created this masterpiece so I can give them the proper credit. ...

Perimenopause comes with a whole host of symptoms, like brain fog, low sex drive, poor energy, and loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can be extremely bothersome and hard to treat. Could testosterone help? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about the data on testosterone treatment for women in perimenopause.

#perimenopause #perimenopausehealth #womenshealth #hormoneimbalance #emilyoster #parentdata

Perimenopause comes with a whole host of symptoms, like brain fog, low sex drive, poor energy, and loss of muscle mass. These symptoms can be extremely bothersome and hard to treat. Could testosterone help? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about the data on testosterone treatment for women in perimenopause.

#perimenopause #perimenopausehealth #womenshealth #hormoneimbalance #emilyoster #parentdata
...

What age is best to start swim lessons? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about water safety for children 💦

Summer is quickly approaching! You might be wondering if it’s the right time to have your kid start swim lessons. The AAP recommends starting between 1 and 4 years old. This is largely based on a randomized trial where young children were put into 8 or 12 weeks of swim lessons. They found that swimming ability and water safety reactions improve in both groups, and more so in the 12 weeks group.

Below this age range though, they are too young to actually learn how to swim. It’s fine to bring your baby into the pool (if you’re holding them) and they might like the water. But starting formal safety-oriented swim lessons before this age isn’t likely to be very helpful.

Most importantly, no matter how old your kid is or how good of a swimmer they are, adult supervision is always necessary!

#swimlessons #watersafety #kidsswimminglessons #poolsafety #emilyoster #parentdata

What age is best to start swim lessons? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article about water safety for children 💦

Summer is quickly approaching! You might be wondering if it’s the right time to have your kid start swim lessons. The AAP recommends starting between 1 and 4 years old. This is largely based on a randomized trial where young children were put into 8 or 12 weeks of swim lessons. They found that swimming ability and water safety reactions improve in both groups, and more so in the 12 weeks group.

Below this age range though, they are too young to actually learn how to swim. It’s fine to bring your baby into the pool (if you’re holding them) and they might like the water. But starting formal safety-oriented swim lessons before this age isn’t likely to be very helpful.

Most importantly, no matter how old your kid is or how good of a swimmer they are, adult supervision is always necessary!

#swimlessons #watersafety #kidsswimminglessons #poolsafety #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Can babies have salt? 🧂 While babies don’t need extra salt beyond what’s in breast milk or formula, the risks of salt toxicity from normal foods are minimal. There are concerns about higher blood pressure in the long term due to a higher salt diet in the first year, but the data on these is not super compelling and the differences are small.

Like with most things, moderation is key! Avoid very salty chips or olives or saltines with your infant. But if you’re doing baby-led weaning, it’s okay for them to share your lightly salted meals. Your baby does not need their own, unsalted, chicken if you’re making yourself a roast. Just skip the super salty stuff.

 #emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids

Can babies have salt? 🧂 While babies don’t need extra salt beyond what’s in breast milk or formula, the risks of salt toxicity from normal foods are minimal. There are concerns about higher blood pressure in the long term due to a higher salt diet in the first year, but the data on these is not super compelling and the differences are small.

Like with most things, moderation is key! Avoid very salty chips or olives or saltines with your infant. But if you’re doing baby-led weaning, it’s okay for them to share your lightly salted meals. Your baby does not need their own, unsalted, chicken if you’re making yourself a roast. Just skip the super salty stuff.

#emilyoster #parentdata #childnutrition #babynutrition #foodforkids
...

Is sleep training bad? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article breaking down the data on sleep training 😴

Among parenting topics, sleep training is one of the most divisive. Ultimately, it’s important to know that studies looking at the short- and long-term effects of sleep training show no evidence of harm. The data actually shows it can improve infant sleep and lower parental depression.

Even so, while sleep training can be a great option, it will not be for everyone. Just as people can feel judged for sleep training, they can feel judged for not doing it. Engaging in any parenting behavior because it’s what’s expected of you is not a good idea. You have to do what works best for your family! If that’s sleep training, make a plan and implement it. If not, that’s okay too.

What’s your experience with sleep training? Did you feel judged for your decision to do (or not do) it?

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata

Is sleep training bad? Comment “Link” for a DM to an article breaking down the data on sleep training 😴

Among parenting topics, sleep training is one of the most divisive. Ultimately, it’s important to know that studies looking at the short- and long-term effects of sleep training show no evidence of harm. The data actually shows it can improve infant sleep and lower parental depression.

Even so, while sleep training can be a great option, it will not be for everyone. Just as people can feel judged for sleep training, they can feel judged for not doing it. Engaging in any parenting behavior because it’s what’s expected of you is not a good idea. You have to do what works best for your family! If that’s sleep training, make a plan and implement it. If not, that’s okay too.

What’s your experience with sleep training? Did you feel judged for your decision to do (or not do) it?

#sleeptraining #newparents #babysleep #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Does your kid love to stall right before bedtime? 💤 Tell me more about their tactics in the comments below!

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes

Does your kid love to stall right before bedtime? 💤 Tell me more about their tactics in the comments below!

#funnytweets #bedtime #nightimeroutine #parentinghumor #parentingmemes
...

Got a big decision to make? 🤔 Comment “Link” for a DM to read about my easy mantra for making hard choices. 

When we face a complicated problem in pregnancy or parenting, and don’t like either option A or B, we often wait around for a secret third option to reveal itself. This magical thinking, as appealing as it is, gets in the way. We need a way to remind ourselves that we need to make an active choice, even if it is hard. The mantra I use for this: “There is no secret option C.”

Having this realization, accepting it, reminding ourselves of it, can help us make the hard decisions and accurately weigh the risks and benefits of our choices.

#parentingquotes #decisionmaking #nosecretoptionc #parentingadvice #emilyoster #parentdata

Got a big decision to make? 🤔 Comment “Link” for a DM to read about my easy mantra for making hard choices.

When we face a complicated problem in pregnancy or parenting, and don’t like either option A or B, we often wait around for a secret third option to reveal itself. This magical thinking, as appealing as it is, gets in the way. We need a way to remind ourselves that we need to make an active choice, even if it is hard. The mantra I use for this: “There is no secret option C.”

Having this realization, accepting it, reminding ourselves of it, can help us make the hard decisions and accurately weigh the risks and benefits of our choices.

#parentingquotes #decisionmaking #nosecretoptionc #parentingadvice #emilyoster #parentdata
...

Excuse the language, but I have such strong feelings about this subject! Sometimes, it feels like there’s no winning as a mother. People pressure you to breastfeed and, in the same breath, shame you for doing it in public. Which is it?!

So yes, they’re being completely unreasonable. You should be able to feed your baby in peace. What are some responses you can give to someone who tells you to cover up? Share in the comments below ⬇️

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster

Excuse the language, but I have such strong feelings about this subject! Sometimes, it feels like there’s no winning as a mother. People pressure you to breastfeed and, in the same breath, shame you for doing it in public. Which is it?!

So yes, they’re being completely unreasonable. You should be able to feed your baby in peace. What are some responses you can give to someone who tells you to cover up? Share in the comments below ⬇️

#breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #breastfeedingmom #motherhood #emilyoster
...

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there! 

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife

Potty training can feel like a Mount Everest-size challenge, and sadly, our evidence-based guidance is poor. So, I created a survey to collate advice and feedback on success from about 6,000 participants.

How long does potty training take? We found that there is a strong basic pattern here: the later you wait to start, the shorter time it takes to potty train. On average, people who start at under 18 months report it takes them about 12 weeks for their child to be fully trained (using the toilet consistently for both peeing and pooping). For those who start between 3 and 3.5, it’s more like nine days. Keep in mind that for all of these age groups, there is a range of length of time from a few days to over a year. Sometimes parents are told that if you do it right, it only takes a few days. While that is true for some people, it is definitely not the norm.

If you’re in the throes of potty training, hang in there!

#emilyoster #parentdata #pottytraining #pottytrainingtips #toddlerlife
...

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens. 

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children. 

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata

For children or adults with severe food allergies, they can be incredibly scary and restrictive. We may imagine that it’s easy to deal with a peanut allergy by, say, not eating peanut butter sandwiches. But for someone with a severe version of this allergy, they may never be able to go to a restaurant, for fear of a severe reaction to something in the air. Right now, there’s only one approved treatment for severe allergies like this and it’s limited to peanuts.

This is why the new medication Xolair is very exciting. It promises a second possible treatment avenue and one that works for other allergens. A new trail analyzed data from 177 children with severe food allergies. Two-thirds of the treatment group were able to tolerate the specified endpoint, versus just 7% of the placebo group. This is a very large treatment effect, and the authors found similarly large impacts on other allergens.

There are some caveats: This treatment won’t work for everyone. (One-third of participants did not respond to it.) Additionally, this treatment is an injection given every two to four weeks, indefinitely. This may make it less palatable to children.

Overall, even with caveats, this is life-changing news for many families!

#xolair #foodallergies #allergies #peanutallergy #emilyoster #parentdata
...

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips

If you have a fever during pregnancy, you should take Tylenol, both because it will make you feel better and because of concerns about fever in pregnancy (although these are also overstated).

The evidence that suggests risks to Tylenol focuses largely on more extensive exposure — say, taking it for more than 28 days during pregnancy. There is no credible evidence, even correlational, to suggest that taking it occasionally for a fever or headache would be an issue.

People take Tylenol for a reason. For many people, the choice may be between debilitating weekly migraines and regular Tylenol usage. The impacts studies suggest are very small. In making this decision, we should weigh the real, known benefit against the suggestion of this possible risk. Perhaps not everyone will come out at the same place on this, but it is crucial we give people the tools to make the choice for themselves.

#emilyoster #parentdata #tylenol #pregnancy #pregnancytips
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Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks

Parenting trends are like Cabbage Patch Kids: they’re usually only popular because a bunch of people are using them! Most of the time, these trends are not based on new scientific research, and even if they are, that new research doesn’t reflect all of what we’ve studied before.

In the future, before hopping onto the latest trend, check the data first. Unlike Cabbage Patch Kids, parenting trends can add a lot of unnecessary stress and challenges to your plate. What’s a recent trend that you’ve been wondering about?

#parentdata #emilyoster #parentingtips #parentingadvice #parentinghacks
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As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData! 

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity

As of this week, 1 million copies of my books have been sold. This feels humbling and, frankly, unbelievable. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read and passed along your recommendations of the books.

When I wrote Expecting Better, I had no plan for all of this — I wrote that book because I felt compelled to write it, because it was the book I wanted to read. As I’ve come out with more books, and now ParentData, I am closer to seeing what I hope we can all create. That is: a world where everyone has access to reliable data, based on causal evidence, to make informed, confident decisions that work for their families.

I’m so grateful you’re all here as a part of this, and I want to thank you! If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to sign up for full access to ParentData, this is it. ⭐️ Comment “Link” for a DM with a discount code for 20% off of a new monthly or annual subscription to ParentData!

Thank you again for being the best community of readers and internet-friends on the planet. I am so lucky to have you all here.

#parentdata #emilyoster #expectingbetter #cribsheet #familyfirm #parentingcommunity
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Just eat your Cheerios and move on.

Just eat your Cheerios and move on. ...

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide

The AAP’s guidelines recommend sleeping in the same room as your baby “ideally for the first six months.” However, the risk of SIDS is dramatically lower after four months, and the evidence in favor of the protective effect of room sharing is quite weak (both overall and even more so after four months). There is also growing evidence that infants who sleep in their own room by four months sleep better at four months, better at nine months, and even better at 30 months.

With this in mind, it’s worth asking why this recommendation continues at all — or at least why the AAP doesn’t push it back to four months. They say decreased arousals from sleep are linked to SIDS, which could mean that babies sleeping in their own room is risky. But this link is extremely indirect, and they do not show direct evidence to support it.

According to the data we have, parents should sleep in the same room as a baby for as long as it works for them! Sharing a room with a child may have negative impacts on both child and adult sleep. We should give families more help in navigating these trade-offs and making the decisions that work best for them.

#emilyoster #parentdata #roomsharing #sids #parentingguide
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