Help your child cope with the "agony of defeat"
MADISON, Wis. - Summer sports competitions mean lots of children will have to wrestle with the disappointment of defeat in sports.
Parents can help by acknowledging the child's feelings.
That's the advice of Dr. Claudia Reardon of the department of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
"Saying something as simple as, 'I understand you're feeling upset that you didn't win the race' can open up a discussion and let them know you're there to listen," says Reardon, an expert on sports psychiatry.
Focus on the things that went right on the playing field.
"Then you can examine whatever went wrong as an opportunity for the child to improve his or her skills," Reardon says.
Look at the big picture.
"I find it useful to ask children if they think their favorite athletes ever make a bad play or lose a race, and then decide to quit," she says.
Reardon urges parents to make sure that sports disappointment doesn't slide into bad sportsmanship.
Tongue drops effective for ragweed allergies?
MADISON, Wis. -- Oral allergy drops delivered under the tongue could be a safe and effective alternative to controlling ragweed pollen allergies, according to a recent study.
"While the drops haven't been subjected to rigorous clinical trials in the United States yet, the early results are quite encouraging," says Dr. Robert Bush, professor emeritus of medicine at the School of Medicine and Public Health and one of the investigators on the multi-site study involving 115 patients.
Europeans have been using the therapy for years, but in the U.S. it has been approved only for research and clinical trials so far.
Study results showed that symptom frequency decreased for those who were given high doses of the medication, as did the need to take additional medication.
The therapy seemed to work best in patients who react to a single allergen - such as ragweed pollen - rather than several.
"We don't know how long people would need to be treated or the proper dose levels yet," says Bush. "But it's clear there's a lot of interest in this therapy."
(Contact: Aaron R. Conklin at (608) 263-5561 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Calorie listings at your favorite drive-through?
MADISON, Wis. -- Americans can soon expect to see more restaurants posting nutrition information.
Since New York City's menu law went into effect in July 2008, California and Massachusetts have passed similar bills. Wisconsin has one in the pipeline and a federal version appears in the new health-care law.
"Providing accurate information to help people choose healthier diets is a small but constructive step that government leaders are likely to try out before more controversial strategies such as taxes or bans on particular foods and beverages," says Dr. Tom Oliver, of the UW Population Health Institute.
Such policies are driven by ballooning obesity rates - 26.6 percent of Americans were obese in 2008, up from 15.9 percent in 1995. They're also a response to the fact that the percentage of meals eaten in restaurants has nearly doubled since 1978.
"Doing a better job at preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease is good fiscal policy as well," says Oliver. "We need to keep people healthier to slow the growth of health care costs to individuals, employers and government programs."
(Contact: Susan Lampert Smith at (608) 262-7335 or email@example.com.)