Increase in ADHD medication overdoses and misuse in children

Medications 257344 960 720According to a report published this month in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, there has been an increase in ADHD medication overdoses and misuse in children.

"From 2000 through 2014, there were 156 365 exposures reported to US poison control centers related to ADHD medications. The overall rate of reported exposures increased 71.2% from 2000 to 2011, followed by a 6.2% decrease from 2011 to 2014."

"Most of the calls — 82 percent — were reporting unintentional drug exposure, the report found: a child without ADHD (usually younger than six) getting into an unsecured medication bottle, for instance, or a child accidentally taking a follow-up dose too soon. The rest of the calls were reporting children, generally older ones, purposely taking more medication than had been prescribed to them. Some of these calls were related to attempted...

Get outside, play, and improve symptoms of ADHD


ResearchRunning shows that playing outdoors reduces ADHD symptoms and summer is a great time to get your kids outside. Here are some ideas to give your children structured outdoor exercise (while having fun!):

  1. When playing with their friends, make sure they have access to jump ropes, hula hoops, roller skates, basketballs, etc.
  2. Sign them up for an outdoor sport like swimming, tennis, or soccer.
  3. Go hiking or kayaking as a family
  4. Put together a bike or running race with their friends. Give out prizes for motivation.
  5. Sign them up for a summer camp which involves obstacle courses, sports, and hiking.

Keep track of how your children respond to these activities, what they enjoy, and how you might be able to improve them. Ask your child to use a rating system and discuss what they did and did not like about each activity.  Discovering their interests may lead to...

How to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss.

Shutterstock 104366477Summer vacation means sleeping late, staying up late, and doing very little except enjoying time out of school. However, did you know that the average student loses one to three months math and reading gains made over the prior year? Academic losses are so common among students that educators have given the phenomena a name: Summer Brain Drain. This makes starting the following school year difficult. 

Summer Brain Drain may even be worse for ADHD students already having trouble at school.

Going to school daily provides schedules and routines. The summer break means those routines aren't there. Expectations are lowered or relaxed. Even sleep schedules are often totally abandoned.

Unfortunately, exercise is often replaced with computer time, watching movies, or playing video games with friends. That's a bad idea. While there's nothing wrong with playing video games or...

ADHD and Binge Eating - There is a connection

Shutterstock 711939556A recent study performed by researchers in the UK from the University of Birmingham found that ADHD symptoms have a direct relationship to both binge and restrictive eating.
“The inattentive symptoms of ADHD were associated with decreased awareness of internal signals of hunger and satiety, and in turn these deficits were positively associated with disordered eating, particularly binge/disinhibited eating,” the team wrote.
It is widely known there is an important relationship between nutrition and cognitive health.  A healthy diet supports a healthy brain!  Since good nutrition contributes to improved attention, memory, and mood, it is especially important that individuals with ADHD try to maintain a healthy diet.
Be certain to check our Play Attention FaceBook post and ...

Dehydration and ADHD Symptoms

Shutterstock 417028033Hydration research by the National Institute of Health says: “Water, or its lack, can influence cognition. Mild dehydration impacts important aspects of cognitive function such as concentration, alertness, and short-term memory.”

In the past, health professionals have told us that we need eight 8-oz glasses of water per day. Ongoing research has stated that this is not based on concrete evidence, and there are too many variables that can affect your personal hydration. These variables range from body size, environment, amount of exercise, age, and diet. It’s better to go by two rules, drinking water when you are thirsty and monitoring the color of your urine. Well-hydrated urine should look pale yellow or colorless.

If you have ADHD, it may be even more important to ensure you are staying properly hydrated throughout the day to better support your attention and memory. ADHD...

How to Combine Learning and Nutrition this Summer for your ADHD child

Shutterstock 96136955Summer break is a great time to engage children in developing their meal plan.  This is a great way to teach them about healthy eating. A study by UCLA School of Medicine states, “We now know that particular nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes that are vital for maintaining cognitive function”. Helping your ADHD child create healthy eating habits may improve their overall focus and ability to improve cognitive skills.

Here are some ideas on how you can integrate learning and nutrition to help prevent “summer brain drain” this year:

  • ·Read some story books with your child that are based on nutrition. There are many fun books for children on healthy eating. There are also nutritional guides for teens that are designed to keep their attention and simplify healthy eating.
  • ·Teach your child about the vitamins...