October 11, 2019

Weekend reads: 'Sesame Street' wants to help kids cope with parental substance use

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    'Sesame Street' teaches kids about parental substance misuse. "Sesame Street" on Wednesday launched new videos designed to help children who have a parent with a substance use disorder. The new videos star Karli, a muppet whose mother has a substance use disorder. The videos show how she handles her mother's condition with support from Elmo and her friends. Jeanette Betancourt—SVP for U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, the educational arm of the show—said the show was inspired to address the topic because 5.7 million children under the age of 11 live in a house with a parent who struggles with a substance use disorder. The show will "explain that [substance use disorder] is a grown-up sickness and that it is when an individual is much more dependent on drugs or alcohol," Betancourt said, adding "that it's something that adults need help with" and "something that children do not cause."

    A potential risk of sleeping on your back while pregnant. Pregnant women who sleep on their back are more likely than women who don't to give birth to children with low birth weight, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open. For the study, researchers analyzed 1,760 pregnant women, 57 of whom slept lying on their backs. They found that after controlling for a variety of factors, women who slept on their backs had babies three times as likely as the babies of other women to be in the lowest 10th percentile for birth weight.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    This fish can live on land. Here's why officials want you to kill it. Earlier this month, a northern snakehead fish was caught in a pond in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division, marking the first time the fish had been found in Georgia. The long, thin fish, native to East Asia, can grow up to three feet and weigh up to 18 pounds—and, because it can breathe air through an air bladder that's similar to a lung, the fish is actually able to  live on land for up to four days if kept moist. According to Georgia officials, its ability to live on land and water can help the fish out-compete and displace other wildlife, meaning that eventually, if the fish continues to reproduce, it could alter ecological systems entirely. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added the species to its list of injurious wildlife in 2002, and now, Georgia officials are looking to prevent the species from spreading to other bodies of water in the state by asking anglers to learn to kill and report the fish to the state.

    How 4 kids found a lost women with dementia. When 11-year-old Hope Claiborne and Makenna Rogers were hanging out in a park recently, a helicopter loudspeaker said police were searching for Glenetta Belford, a 97-year-old with dementia who left her care center on Sept. 30. Police needed to find Belford before it got dark, fearing that Belford would wander into the woods or a busy street. Hope and Makenna rode up and down the streets with Hope's brother, Kashton, and his friend Logan Hultman, both 10-years-old. After riding around for an hour, they found Belford on a street corner. "I was so excited to find her. We all went over to her and asked, 'What are you doing?'" Hope said. "She didn't really understand us and told us to go away." Hope called 9-11 while the others distracted Belford. After one minute, the police arrived and returned Belford to her care center. "What could have been a much larger crisis was diverted by these junior detectives who jumped into action," said Rob Baquera, public information officer for the Roseville Police Department.

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