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December 24, 2012
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News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

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  Pediatric Health Care 
  • Flu season arrives early in U.S., health officials say
    Flu activity increased last week, with 12 states reporting high flu levels, according to the CDC. New York City and five states reported moderate flu activity, while 33 states reported low activity. The flu season is "off to an early start," but it is too soon to tell how severe the season will be, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement. HealthDay News (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Low maternal vitamin D levels linked to low birth weight
    Women with low vitamin D levels during the first 26 weeks of pregnancy were more likely to have babies who weighed less than their peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The researchers studied preserved blood samples of 2,146 pregnant women who participated in the Collaborative Perinatal Project from 1959 to 1965. Results would likely be different in a modern-day study, the researchers said. (12/22), (India)/Asian News International (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • High-dose prednisolone appears safe for infantile spasms
    Treatment with high-dose prednisolone for two weeks cured 18 of 30 babies diagnosed with refractory infantile spasms in a study presented at the American Epilepsy Society's annual meeting. Five of the 12 who did not respond to prednisolone were cured after a subsequent two-week treatment with intramuscular adrenocorticotropic hormone. Though a larger, randomized study is needed to confirm the results, high-dose prednisolone may be a safe first-line alternative to ACTH therapy, the lead researcher said. (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • Review doesn't support chelation as autism treatment
    An analysis of five studies suggests the use of chelation therapy doesn't alleviate autism symptoms. Parents who choose the treatment mean well but should know it carries risks, the lead researcher said. The study was reported in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Reuters (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AAP SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Health Policy & Regulations 
  • Minn., R.I. and Del. get HHS exchange approval
    HHS granted conditional approvals to launch state health insurance exchanges in Minnesota and Rhode Island on Thursday. Applications to run exchanges have now been conditionally approved for 10 states and Washington, D.C. The HHS also gave its conditional approval for a federal-state exchange partnership in Delaware. Other states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and North Carolina have shown interest in a partnership as well. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Roche wins FDA OK for wider use of flu drug Tamiflu
    The FDA endorsed the use of Roche Holding's flu treatment Tamiflu, or oseltamivir, for children ages 2 weeks to 1 year who have had symptoms of flu for no more than two days. The drug is not indicated for flu prevention in this age group, according to the agency. Reuters (12/21), HealthDay News (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  The Last Word - News from the AAP 
  • IronKids app now available
    The new AAP IronKids app includes everything young athletes, age 8 and up, need to safely build strength, balance and fitness. The app also contains the full workout, principles and tip clips from the AAP DVD with Jordan Metzl, MD, FAAP, titled "Home Strength Training for Young Athletes," as well as tools to create custom workouts. The app is available through the iTunes store for iPhone/iPad/iTouch. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advanced Pediatric Emergency Medicine Assembly
    March 12-14, 2013, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Fla. Co-sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the AAP, this course will help participants enhance pediatric emergency medicine skills while providing an opportunity to advance dual-boarded training to the next level. For more information, visit the ACEP website. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of Christmas, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."
--William Blake,
British poet and painter

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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAP members and other health professionals about child health topics in the media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of pediatricians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues.
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