A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Nicholas Brake: Pandemic relief and other federal government proposals will uplift children

One of the greatest moral stains from the last decade is how US policymakers at the federal and state level have turned their back on children in our society. Perhaps it is because there is not a powerful children’s lobby or because children generally do not financially support political campaigns. The fact remains that the US is one of the world’s richest countries, yet our leaders accept...

Art Center of the Bluegrass announces more than two dozen summer programs for children

The Art Center of the Bluegrass has announced its summer programming lineup for children, unveiling more than two dozen camps, classes, and activities. Parents can choose online or in-person art opportunities for children ages three to 8th grade. New this summer is a weekly preschool art class for children ages three to six. Class meets for one hour each week – four weeks in June, five weeks in July....

As coronavirus pandemic drags on, it’s taking a significant toll of the mental health of children, teens

By Brandon Porter Kentucky Today As COVID infection rates begin to slowly decline, a recent study reveals the number of mental health-related medical visits for children is rising. A CDC report released in late November shows that emergency department visits for children aged 5-11 were up by 24%, and for children 12-17 were up by 31% from the previous year. “I am not surprised at all by these...

Commentary: COVID-19 vaccines are a triumph of science — and our best chance to end the pandemic

By Marc T. Kiviniemi, PhD, CPH, and Donna K. Arnett, PhD, MSPH Special to KyForward With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, we may finally be seeing some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. If we can vaccinate enough people quickly enough, life may begin to look a little closer to normal later this year. We’re excited to see children return to school, to see our own students in...

Terry Brooks: If oxpeckers and zebras can practice synergy, surely so can the donkeys and elephants

Oxpeckers and zebras. Oxpeckers are small African birds which count on zebras as their key nutritional sources, eating the ticks that cluster on zebras. And zebras? Well, they depend on oxpeckers as pest control agents. The oxpeckers also make a hissing sound whenever they sense a threat, acting as the zebras’ early warning security system to escape to safer locales from impending predators. This...

Kentucky teen continuing active lifestyle, thanks to UK Healthcare’s Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

By Hillary Smith University of Kentucky “How could I have missed this? She was growing, eating, drinking and playing lots of softball.” Those thoughts went rushing through Crystal and Vernon Cecil’s minds in August of 2017. Their 10-year-old, Evie Cecil, came home from school with a stomach ache but no fever. After a nap, the fifth-grader grew increasingly lethargic and Crystal’s...

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet encourages students to enter Adopt-a-Highway Art Contest

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is encouraging Kentucky students to enter the 2020-2021 edition of its popular Adopt-a-Highway art contest. The theme is Adopt-a-Highway: For a Litter-Free Kentucky. “There are prizes for the winners, but the real payoff is that our youngest citizens are engaged early in life to promote a cleaner Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “The KYTC Adopt-a-Highway...

Keep fire safety in mind during Thanksgiving feast; No. 1 day of year for U.S. home cooking fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging the public to make fire safety a priority when preparing this year’s Thanksgiving feast. The association’s latest Home Cooking Fires report shows that Thanksgiving is the peak day for U.S. home cooking fires followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. According to the report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated...

Distracted, drunk and drowsy drivers pose dangers to trick-or-treaters, other motorists on Halloween

As Halloween 2020 approaches, AAA is reminding of the risk for a dangerous traffic safety trifecta ― increased pedestrian activity, drunk driving, and drowsy driving ― all of which converge this Halloween weekend. The ghostly holiday falls on a Saturday this year, followed a few short hours later by “falling back” at the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 2 a.m. this Sunday, Nov. 1. Halloween...

Keven Moore: They seem like a fun Halloween tradition, but hayrides can be extremely dangerous

This past weekend, on a cool October night, an average everyday fall hayride turned into a Halloween nightmare. A tractor in Illinois near the town of Nauvoo was pulling a wagon full of hay bales, and people overturned, leaving one 32-year-old adult dead and 20 others injured. The accident happened when the 41-year-old driver of a John Deere Tractor that was pulling the double-axle trailer for the...

Nurse task force says every Kentucky school needs full-time nurse, requests $3 million from lawmakers

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News “Every school needs a nurse every day, all day.” So says the Kentucky Nurses Association School Nurse Task Force, which has worked for this goal for more than five years. It says only 43 percent of Kentucky schools meet the National Association of School Nurses recommendation for a minimum of one nurse for every 750 students. On Oct. 20, the task...

Answers from the doctors: This is not the year to risk it — get a flu shot, which is especially important now

By Monalisa Taylor, Lewis Hargett and Heidi Margulis Special to KyForward This is not the year to risk it. Get a flu shot. As physicians, we now end each patient visit like this: “I am encouraging all of my patients to get the flu shot this year. With both the flu and the coronavirus going around, it will be a difficult season. Having more than one virus increases your risk of going to the hospital....

AAA: Would your child’s safety seat pass inspection? Parents urged to review Kentucky car seat law

Every day in America, there are children riding in car seats that have been installed incorrectly, or riding in the wrong car seats for their ages and sizes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. An estimated 59 percent of car seats and 20 percent of booster seats are misused...

Study reveals children in Central, Eastern Kentucky more likely to face hunger than overall population

God’s Pantry Food Bank announced the release of Map the Meal Gap 2020, the latest report by Feeding America on food insecurity and the cost of food at both the county and congressional district level. It is the only study that provides food insecurity data at the local level. Map the Meal Gap 2020 reveals that food insecurity exists in every county in God’s Pantry Food Bank service area. It also...

Summer is time for kids to relax and have fun, but steps should be taken to avoid the ‘summer slide’

By Amanda Ellis Special to KyForward While summer is a time for kids to have fun, sleep in and play outside, it’s often a time educators worry about due to the “summer slide.” Children can lose up to three months of reading and math skills during the summer months when they don’t have opportunities to practice what they learned during the school year. Also, when we consider the reopening of...

Advocates to rally at state capitol this week for policies benefitting children and families

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Advocates for children will gather in Frankfort this week to push for policies that benefit children and families. On Thursday, hundreds are expected to rally to urge legislators to consider boosting child-care assistance and enact a state-level refundable Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families, among other reforms. Whitley County High School senior...

Melissa Martin: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in children is a mental health issue and it can be treated

Shawn’s mother brought him to therapy because she noticed he began to squeeze his head in the mornings before school. He was trying to “squeeze out the thoughts.” Shawn (a 5-year old) was experiencing ruminating thoughts that “would not go away.” He was having unwanted intrusive thoughts. Kate (a 9-year old) developed an irrational fear that certain foods would harm or poison her. She read...

New report shows 16 percent of Kentucky’s children are growing up in concentrated poverty

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The economy may have bounced back from the Great Recession, but that hasn’t helped the 163,000 Kentucky children living in concentrated poverty, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Patricia Tennen, chief operating officer of Kentucky Youth Advocates, says stagnant wages, rising housing costs and lack of job opportunities for parents,...

Murray State’s Alumni Legacy Tuition Grant a ‘game-changer for alumni families all over the country’

Murray State University is offering its Alumni Legacy Tuition Grant, providing in-state tuition rates to children, grandchildren and other descendants of alumni seeking an undergraduate degree at Murray State. Available beginning for summer 2020, the tuition grant will assist students for up to eight semesters towards the student’s first baccalaureate degree and is available for the fall and spring...

In wake of two mass shootings in U.S., some tips for managing distress in children after traumatic events

By Ginny Sprang University of Kentucky Whether it is the local evening news or a 24-hour cable news channel, images of violence inundates our homes. These scenes can be disturbing and stressful, especially for children. It is important to manage distress and take appropriate steps in helping your children and adolescents following traumatic events. Take advantage of the teachable moment by starting...