AAP, others concerned with Trump's plan for vaccine safety panel | AAP comments on FDA warning on anesthesia use in young children | CDC, group issue recommendations on improving school recess programs
January 11, 2017
News for pediatricians and other child health professionals
The AAP and other health care organizations have expressed concern over President-elect Donald Trump's request for Robert Kennedy Jr., a long-time opponent of mandatory vaccination legislation, to lead a possible new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. The AAP is willing "to share the extensive scientific evidence demonstrating the safety of vaccines" with the incoming administration, AAP Executive Director and CEO Dr. Karen Remley and AAP President Dr. Fernando Stein said in a statement.
The AAP has issued a response on the FDA's advice against repeated or extended use of anesthetics in children younger than 3 years due to likely developmental problems, saying that research shows no risks for children exposed to a single, short anesthetic or sedation and that parents and physicians must consider the risks of delaying needed surgery and diagnostic procedures. The response was endorsed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, the International Anesthesia Research Society and other health care organizations.
The CDC and the Society of Health and Physical Educators have released guidance to bolster recess programs in elementary and secondary schools with recommendations on setting behavioral and safety expectations, making leadership decisions, engaging the school community, and creating a supportive environment. A second guidance document discusses how to implement the recommendations.
NICU medical teams who were treated rudely by mothers in simulated emergency situations performed worse in diagnosing medical conditions, creating treatment plans, and sharing information and workload, compared with situations in which mothers made neutral remarks, according to a study in Pediatrics. The findings also showed better coping with the rude remarks among medical teams that first participated in computer game exercises to help them cope with rudeness, compared with those who underwent a discussion-based intervention.
The US Preventive Services Task Force has reiterated 2009 guidance recommending that all women of childbearing age take 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid supplements daily to reduce the risk of neural-tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. The recommendations were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers surveyed 184 breast-feeding mothers and found that 55% gave vitamin D drops to their babies but only 42% overall gave the recommended daily intake of 400 IU. The findings in the Annals of Family Medicine also showed that 90% said they would prefer taking vitamin D supplements themselves instead of giving drops to their babies.
An analysis in Pediatrics found an increase in the rate of gun violence per hour in top-grossing PG-13 films from 2013 to 2015, compared with R-rated movies during the same period. The findings should prompt pediatricians to "consider advising parents to be cautious about exposing their children to the gun violence in PG-13 movies," researchers wrote.
Physicians, hospital association executives and advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to proceed with caution as the Senate this week moves toward a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said that President-elect Donald Trump recently agreed that a replacement measure should be prepared before the ACA is repealed.
Officials would be required to collect water samples from all Illinois schools that teach students in prekindergarten through fifth grade to be tested for lead under legislation passed Monday by lawmakers in the state House. The legislation also requires that officials develop a plan to test water at day care centers.
Interactive map highlights child vaccination rates across America
The AAP has developed an interactive digital map that highlights state immunization rates for vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as state laws regarding vaccine exemptions. The map includes data on how each state measures up against immunization thresholds that are important to ensure protection for all. The map also highlights recent outbreaks of disease that have occurred in communities where pockets of low-immunization rates left the population vulnerable. While immunization rates have remained steady or increased for many vaccines over the past decade, recent studies show that unvaccinated children are often geographically clustered in communities. These pockets of under-immunization are at higher risk of disease and have been the source of disease outbreaks, as seen with the 2014 measles outbreak in California.
Behavioral health intervention with adolescents
Substance use and mental health are major concerns among youth. Pediatricians have an important role in preventing, identifying, and treating substance use and mental health concerns. The AAP, thanks in part to the Friends of Children Fund, is offering free access to simulations which provide participants with effective brief intervention techniques. Use of the simulations are free to AAP members and can be accessed at kognito.com/aap.
Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
Nelson Mandela, activist and political leader
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