AAP issues recommendations on tattooing, piercing, scarification in youths | Survey: 38% of parents say schools can aid youths with mental illness | Prenatal fluoride exposure may lower IQ in childhood
September 19, 2017
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AAP issues recommendations on tattooing, piercing, scarification in youths
Pediatricians should inform adolescents and young adults considering tattoos, piercings and scarification about the health risks and removal difficulty of such body modifications, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report in Pediatrics. The report also called on pediatricians to urge immediate medical care for youths who develop infections after body modifications; bolster awareness of laws and regulations on tattooing, piercings and scarification; and tackle how such body modifications may be viewed by their future employers.
CNN (9/18),  Healio (free registration) (9/18),  Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (9/18) 
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Survey: 38% of parents say schools can aid youths with mental illness
Seventy-seven percent of parents said schools would be able to provide first aid for students with minor injuries, but only 38% said they were very confident schools can help those with suspected mental health problems, according to a national poll by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. The survey also showed that while many parents thought school nurses were on duty five days a week, the National Association of School Nurses said that fewer than 50% of schools across the US have full-time nurses.
United Press International (9/18),  HealthDay News (9/18) 
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Pediatric Health Care
Prenatal fluoride exposure may lower IQ in childhood
Researchers found that every 0.5-milligrams-per-liter increase over 0.8 milligrams per liter of fluoride in the urine of pregnant women was tied to a decline in IQ test scores among their children. However, the findings published in Environmental Health Perspectives, based on data involving 287 mother-child pairs in Mexico, showed that children's urinary fluoride levels weren't associated with lower IQ scores.
CNN (9/19),  CTV.ca (Canada) (9/19) 
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Study examines epinephrine administration in US schools
Nearly 24% of US school nurses surveyed said that epinephrine was given to students in their schools during the 2015-2016 school year, and nearly 16% of 482 epinephrine injections were administered by students or unlicensed school staff, researchers reported at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting. The findings also showed that one-third of epinephrine shots were given to those with no allergy previously known to the school, while almost 11% of those who developed anaphylaxis needed more than one epinephrine dose.
HealthDay News (9/18),  MedPage Today (free registration) (9/18) 
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Researchers look at pediatric nontraumatic abdominal pain imaging in the ED
A study in Pediatrics found that overall CT and ultrasound use for pediatric nontraumatic abdominal pain in emergency departments held steady between 2007 and 2014, following nine years of persistent increases. The findings, based on CDC survey data involving more than 20 million ED visits, also showed a higher likelihood of ultrasound for those in pediatric EDs, compared with increased odds of CT imaging in youths seen in general EDs, prompting researchers to urge better dissemination of pediatric imaging protocols in general EDs to optimize radiation exposure in children.
Health Imaging online (9/18) 
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Study shows closed-loop control system improves glycemic control
Adolescent type 1 diabetes patients who used a closed-loop control system saw improvements in the percentage time in the range of 70 to 180 mg/dL, with the maximum effect seen at night, compared with those who used a remotely monitored sensor-augmented pump, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers used a cohort of 32 diabetes patients who participated in a five-day ski camp and also found improvements in exposure to hypoglycemia and carbohydrate treatments, with strong effects on ski level seen during the daytime.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (9/15) 
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Trends & Technology
Practice uses gamification to improve compliance
A gamification system that included caregiver and patient incentives and prizes helped a pediatrics practice increase the percentage of appointments scheduled before patients left the office, along with the number of up-to-date well-child visits, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting. A smartphone app was used so patients and parents could download and track points.
MedPage Today (free registration) (9/17) 
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Health Policy & Regulations
Graham-Cassidy bill gains momentum in Senate
Graham-Cassidy bill gains momentum in Senate
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., may bring to a vote legislation that would provide states with federal block grants, repeal the individual mandate to buy health insurance and scale back Medicaid expansion in what is considered to be the GOP's final attempt to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act, sources say. Sources say the GOP leader will gauge support for the measure in private meetings this week, and they say there will be no vote if there is a chance the bill, written by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., will fail.
Politico (9/17) 
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Price says opioid crisis emergency declaration, money coming
Price says opioid crisis emergency declaration, money coming
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
HHS Secretary Tom Price said he is working with White House staff to formalize President Donald Trump's statement declaring the opioid abuse epidemic to be a national emergency. Price said HHS will be giving more than $200 million in grants to nearly 1,200 community health centers to be used for the treatment of substance abuse and mental health conditions.
WMUR-TV (Manchester, N.H.) (9/14),  The Hill (9/15) 
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Texas law lets schools give surplus food to students
A new Texas law lets school districts create food pantries where surplus cafeteria food can be distributed to students instead of being sent to a food bank or other charity. The law is intended to reduce food waste and help hungry students, but school districts may have to work through food safety and liability issues before implementing programs.
The Texas Tribune (9/15) 
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