The annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics was held from Nov. 2 to 6 in Orlando, Florida, and attracted approximately 12,000 participants from around the world, including primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical specialists, and other health care professionals. The conference featured scientific sessions that focused on the latest advances in the care of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
In one study, Courtney Allen, D.O., of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues found that scald burns related to instant soups and noodles affect more than 9,500 children aged 4 to 12 years annually.
“Twenty percent of scald burns sustained by children ages 4 to 12 years are caused by instant soups/noodles,” Allen said. “The median age was 7 years but the most commonly encountered age was 4 years. Preschool through school-aged children are at risk of injuring themselves.”
The investigators found that 40 percent of burns occur on the trunk region (chest, abdomen, and groin). Although most children (90 percent) are discharged home from the emergency department, scald burns can be serious enough to require hospital admission.
“As children become more independent and curious, it is natural for families to allow children to be more involved in the process of cooking and carrying these products. However, it is very important to remember that their coordination is developing and accidents can and do happen,” Allen said. “Instant soups and noodles are a quick and easy meal choice for our busy families, but making sure that all children cook, transport, and consume them safely is necessary. Until there is a design change in the product, clinicians need to increase awareness of injuries related to such products in an effort to help prevent these injuries.”
In another study, Kiesha Fraser Doh, M.D., of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues found that more than three-quarters of children felt they could identify a real gun versus a toy gun, but only 41 percent of children were actually able to differentiate between a real gun and a toy one. The investigators also found that less than half of parents were storing firearms properly, and the majority of parents believed there should be child access laws.
“Firearm safety education needs to be provided to families at each pediatric well child visit, along with age-appropriate information. Families should be educated on the way to store firearms safely similar to education given regarding other anticipatory guidance for car seat safety and helmet use,” Fraser Doh said. “Finally, parents should not assume that all homes practice safe firearm storage and should ask about the presence of firearms wherever their child visits. Parents should not assume that … their children can tell the difference between real versus toy guns; they may not, so securing their firearms locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition is the only way to ensure child safety from firearm injury and death.”
Natasha Gill, M.D., of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues found that childhood obesity is linked to poor coping skills and school performance.
“What surprised me the most was that only 28.9 percent of obese youth were reported to have all five flourishing markers, compared to 40.5 percent of children with a normal body mass index. Just like increased exposure to adverse childhood events has been associated with negative outcomes, new studies suggest that youth who display less positive attitudes are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors and avoid health-enhancing behaviors,” Gill said. “What is also concerning is that adult studies have shown that an individual’s markers of flourishing tend to stay stable over time, just like an individual’s personality. So once children miss the chance to develop a marker, it may be more difficult to develop it in the future or it may not develop at all.”
The findings of this study, according to Gill, support the need for future prospective studies to identify the link between obesity and childhood flourishing markers as well as the need for focused and coordinated interventions from schools and health care providers to improve the overall well-being of these at-risk children.
Saira Ahmed, M.D., of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues evaluated how sleep habits of younger children and adolescents are impacted by the serious injury of a parent.
“Children were 17 percent more likely to seek outpatient care for sleep. Teenagers and children of parents suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury together were also at increased risk,” Ahmed said. “Sleep medication use did, however, decrease after a parent’s injury, which may be due to families being transferred to larger military treatment facilities for the parent’s treatment and increasing access to pediatric subspecialty care, including access to sleep specialists. [These specialists] may wean the child off sleep medications and try nonpharmacologic treatments such as behavioral interventions to help improve the child’s sleep.”
According to Ahmed, it is important that medical providers ask about stressors in the home, such as an injury to a parent, and ask about how the child has been sleeping.
“These conversations are important to help the family catch and treat sleep issues early to avoid physical and emotional problems down the line,” Ahmed concluded.
AAP Warns of Harms of Corporal Punishment for Children
MONDAY, Nov. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Pediatricians should educate parents about positive and effective discipline strategies for children and emphasize the importance of avoiding corporal punishment, according to a policy statement published online Nov. 5 in Pediatrics to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Nov. 2 to 6 in Orlando, Florida.
AAP: Parents Frequently Save Leftover Antibiotics
FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Almost half of parents report saving leftover antibiotics, and almost three-quarters of these parents subsequently divert the antibiotics, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Nov. 2 to 6 in Orlando, Florida.
AAP: More Children Visiting Pediatric EDs for Mental Health
FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — From 2012 to 2016 there was an increase in the number of children visiting pediatric emergency departments (PEDs) with mental health-related diagnoses, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from Nov. 2 to 6 in Orlando, Florida.
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