At convenience stores and gas stations across the state, bright yellow signs are posted prominently on front doors: “Under 21/ No Tobacco.” Libby Brown, a 16-year-old from Turlock, has no problem with the new state law, which went into effect in June, even though it raised the legal smoking age from 18. She wasn’t planning to smoke anyway. “I think it’s a good law because it will make it so there’s not as many smokers,” she said. But 18-year-old smoker Paige Shafer, who lives in North San Juan, is upset that her once legal right to use tobacco has been abruptly taken away. She now has to get others who meet the age limit to get her cigarettes.
Author: Lisa Renner
The pending ballot battle over a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in California raises a crucial question: would the change expose more children to pot or protect youth from access to the drug by tightening regulations?
There’s no doubt in Veronica Morales’ mind that placement in a caring foster family is far superior than placement in a group home. The Turlock resident, who spent much of her childhood in family foster care, said her brothers seemed like “robots” after their stay in a heavily structured group home.
It’s not often that 7-year-old Joseph gets to play in the water, but the wheelchair-bound boy had a great time doing just that on a trip to Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda.
State law or no state law, Grass Valley mother Kay Pisarek is adamant that she won’t vaccinate her 8-year-old son – because she believes vaccines are unsafe.
A year after California added nearly a million children to the Medi-Cal program, advocates say the state is not doing enough to ensure that all of those kids have access to doctors and other health care providers.
To motivate Lake County residents to get moving earlier this year, public health workers used a charming mascot named Rocky the River Otter. They handed out several of the stuffed animals and asked participants in their “Move More 20+14” physical challenge to photograph themselves exercising next to the cute toys. Rocky ended up in pictures at such locations as an elementary school hula-hoop session, yoga classes and on top of a mountain. The challenge, which asked participants to do moderate exercise 20 minutes a day for 14 weeks, beginning in January, was one of many projects funded through the Community Transformation Grant Small Communities Program.
Children love pulling fresh carrots out of the garden or picking berries off a bush. It’s fun to eat food they have grown themselves. The Imperial County Childhood Obesity Project is funding community and school gardens in hopes that kids who enjoy gardening will eat more fruits and vegetables, and ultimately slim down.
The teen boys in the San Joaquin County Juvenile Detention Center had a lot of questions for the two sex education instructors who paid them a visit. Among them: Where are free local clinics that provide testing for sexually transmitted diseases? Is there a cure for AIDS? Can you use ear wax to find out if your partner has an STD?
Oyuny Bahena was pregnant and living in a homeless shelter in Merced County when she first met with a home-visit nurse.