Is your child's behavior worrying you? This app might help.

Meet Greta. She's a mom who's concerned about her daughter's behavior.

"My 4-year-old daughter Chiara throws some tantrums that are so severe they can last for almost an hour and she has a hard time sitting still," Greta told Upworthy. "Just the thought of taking her to a restaurant gives me anxiety."


It's not always happy smiles for Greta and Chiara. Photo from Greta Biagi, used with permission.

There are a lot of parents like Greta who struggle with their kids' behavior — whether it's tantrums, lack of verbalization, or something else — and wonder if it's just a phase or something more serious.

Approximately 15% of children in the U.S. have developmental disorders ranging from impaired speech to behavioral issues. Knowing the warning signs early can make a big difference in the life of a child.

Cognoa, a consumer healthcare startup, decided to throw its hat in the ring to help give parents peace of mind.

Even though parents understand that early intervention is important, access to quality healthcare assessments can be difficult and expensive.

That's why Cognoa is helping parents track their kids' development with clinical-grade behavioral assessments that are free and easy to get.

The company created an app based on technology developed at Harvard and Stanford medical schools. Data collected from over 100,000 parents with kids between the ages of 18 months and 6 years is used to identify risks for developmental delays using complex algorithms.

"Cognoa is building a dataset with tens of thousands of parents to better understand what behaviors are most concerning to families of young children," said Brent Vaughan, CEO of Cognoa. "We want to use this information to empower every parent to best help their children early, when it matters most."

That's the science-y part.

Thankfully the process for parents is pretty simple.

Just download the Cognoa app and answer 15 questions about your child. It's only takes a few minutes.



Then, you'll get some preliminary results to look over.

All of the preliminary results are provided with some super helpful tips. Photo from Cognoa, used with permission.

And for parents who want more detailed analysis of their children, Cognoa allows them to upload short videos of their little ones at home. The video is then reviewed by analysts who provide an assessment.

For those who want even more detail, Cognoa is able to accommodate them. Photo from Cognoa, used with permission.

The folks at Cognoa stress that they do not provide medical advice. (And there are some experts who wonder if there is an actual gain to screening young children for developmental disorders.)

Instead, the app's purpose is to provide guidance and education to parents about their kids' development. As always, parents should consult pediatricians if they're concerned about the behavior of their children.

But for parents like Greta, this kind of check-in was exactly what she needed. After completing the assessment for Chiara, she was able to determine that her daughter is right on track.

"Chiara is a very bright kid, but she's also very strong-willed," Greta said. "Using this app let me breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there's nothing more serious going on."

A big part of having peace of mind as a parent is knowing that you're not alone.

Whether there's a serious issue at hand or not, dealing with a child's confusing behavior is a big challenge for any parent.

Luckily, Cognoa has thousands of registered parents who have similar parenting concerns. Being a part of its parent groups provides users with that "we're in this together" feeling that a lot moms and dads value.

There are thousands of parents to lean on for advice and support. Photo from Cognoa, used with permission.

Got questions? Feel free to ask and get feedback from other parents.

Getting parental peace of mind on a smartphone is invaluable. Photo from Cognoa, used with permission.

One mom wishes the Cognoa app was available a few years ago for her young son.

Michelle has a 5-year-old son named Jacob with autism spectrum disorder. After using the Cognoa app, she knows a lot of parents would benefit from it.

Michelle and her son Jacob are all smiles. Photo from Michelle Mironer, used with permission.

"I used to go online and take various autism tests and came away completely confused," Michelle said. "Using the app confirmed what I already knew about Jacob, but I can see it being really helpful for the parents who are unsure about their kids' development."

We all want to give our kids the best chance to live happy and healthy lives, and it looks like the folks at Cognoa are doing their part to ensure parents have the necessary information to make that a reality.

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign. We don't do PSAs. We also need to update so to explain truth – the nonprofit behind the truth youth smoking prevention campaign – you could also say this in a funny way – best known for sharing the facts about smoking and vaping or pull from some old campaigns. Just layer in a description of truth and who the campaign is., is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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True
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Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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The fine folks at Forbes are currently falling all over themselves trying to clean up the mess they created by publishing their 2019 list of 100 Most Innovative Leaders.

The problem: The list included 99 men and one woman. For those not so good with the math, that means according to Forbes, only 1% of the country's most innovative leaders are female.

Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

That's how it feels to see a list like this. So how did Forbes come up with these results?

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