Fact or Fiction: Opioids, family meals and school: Common questions about kids

KUSA — 9NEWS medical expert Dr. Comilla Sasson decipher facts from fiction.

1) Kids born in August who are starting kindergarten may be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)? FACT

New research looked at more than 400,000 kids from 18 states where the cutoff for starting kindergarten was Sept. 1. They found kids who were born in August were 34 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD then kids born in September.

Researchers think this may be because kids who are 11 months younger may have more immature behavior, like difficulty concentrating, being more impulsive, fidgeting, short attention span, etc., which could be mistaken for ADHD.

There are strict criteria that pediatricians use to diagnose ADHD at 6 years old, but earlier screens are done on kids who are younger. A diagnosis of ADHD can lead to behavioral therapy, counseling, medications and other interventions, so it important for parents to consider when they are considering enrolling their children who are on the cusp of that cutoff date.

Take home point: Every child is different. Consider your child’s maturity level, interactions with others, ability to focus and communication levels before enrolling them into kindergarten if they are near the cut-off dates.

2) My child is in pain after having their wisdom teeth pulled. Giving your kids opioids after their wisdom teeth won’t affect them later. FICTION

I remember when I had my wisdom teeth pulled out at 16 years old, I was given a prescription for hydrocodone. The times have certainly changed, and there is much more scrutiny on who is getting these potentially addictive medications, especially in younger age groups. A new study looked at young adults ages 16 to 25 to see who was given an opioid after their dental procedure, and how many returned within one year for an opioid abuse issue. Those who were prescribed an opioid after their dental procedures had almost a 6 percent risk of a repeat visit for opioid abuse within 12 months, as compared to a less than 1 percent chance for young adults who did not get opioids.

Take-home point: If your child is getting a dental procedure (like wisdom teeth removal), stick to local anesthetics and anti-inflammatories like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

3) Young people (ages 14 to 24) who eat dinner with their families more often have healthier diets. FACT

Researchers looked at more than 2,700 young adults ages 14 to 24 years old to see how their diets changed based on the times they reported eating dinner with their families each week. The more times per week the young adults ate at home with their families, the higher their intake of fruits and vegetables, less eating out and fast food, and for the males less amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages like juice and soda.

Take-home point: There is no magic number for times you eat together as a family ever week, but the more often you do, the healthier it will be for your kids and for yourself. It’s a great reminder to have a meal together, even when schedules can be challenging as your kids grow up.

Follow 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. Comilla Sasson on Facebook and Twitter. Have a medical question or health topic idea? Email Dr. Comilla at c.sasson@9news.com

View Original Article