Wellness Wednesday

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Dr. Kristin Woodward takes has more.

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Tylenol use during pregnancy is now being linked to behavioral problems in children. Pregnant women use Tylenol to treat pain and reduce fevers. It has been the "drug of choice" as other medications can harm the growing fetus. However, a new study published this week in JAMA Pediatrics shows Tylenol use in pregnancy may increase a child's risk of behavioral problems later in life.

The study showed Tylenol use increased a child's risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by almost 30 percent when used throughout pregnancy. Tylenol was also linked to Hyperkinetic Disorder, which is a severe form of ADHD.

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol. It crosses the placenta like many medications. The drug is known to interact or disrupt hormones. Experts say it is possible the drug may disrupt hormones in pregnancy, and this may interfere with brain development.

The authors followed 64,000 families in the Danish National Birth Cohort. About half of the women took Tylenol during their pregnancies. It is important to note this study shows an association, not a cause and effect. Experts are not changing recommendations at this time.

It is important to treat fevers during pregnancy, as they can be harmful. However all medications should be used with caution in pregnancy. Always talk to your doctor before taking any medication when you are pregnant.


An unusual outbreak of an illness that looks and acts a lot like polio has doctors scratching their heads.

About twenty kids in California have developed paralysis in their arms and legs in what appears to be a polio-like illness

The first known cases in California showed up in 2012. Since then about twenty more cases have been identified. All of the children received their polio vaccine. Two children tested positive for enterovirus, which is in the same family as the poliovirus. Officials have not been able to identify the cause of the illness. 

There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses. Most of time they cause mild cold-like symptoms. However certain types of the virus can cause severe neurological illnesses such as viral meningitis, encephalitis, and the polio-like illness. There have been outbreaks of eneterovirus in Asia and Australia in recent decades. 

Experts say the cases in California are very rare and there's no wide spread cause for alarm. This is not like the outbreaks seen in Asia or Australia.

Experts say if your child is ill and develops weakness call your doctor immediately. Health officials in California will continue to follow the illness.

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