The annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics was held virtually this year from Oct. 2 to 5 and attracted 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 session, Nathaniel Beers, M.D., of Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., discussed how pediatricians and schools can work together during the COVID-19 pandemic to develop a school resumption plan based on currently available data, which will keep children, educators, and supportive communities safe and healthy.
The session focused on how schools, with the assistance of pediatricians, need to develop a multilayered and multipronged approach. Beers concluded that schools will be able to safely reopen when communities take responsibility for controlling the rate of spread of COVID-19 by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing, and remaining isolated when sick or exposed to COVID-19-positive individuals.
“The AAP recommends face coverings for all children over 2 years old and adults in schools. There must be plans to manage physical distancing, cleaning, and ventilation in schools,” Beers said. “The approach needs to adjust based on the rate of community spread of COVID-19 as well as the developmental age of the students. Students with disabilities will need specific accommodations to ensure they are also able to return to school.”
In another session, Aparna Bole, M.D., of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, discussed how pediatricians can advise parents on the effect of chemicals in consumer products on babies and children.
The session focused on common categories of products and practices that pediatricians can cover in “safer chemicals” counseling, including cleaning and disinfection; personal care products (including soaps, cosmetics, hair products, and sunscreen); and food purchasing, preparation, and storage. Bole provided examples of a few practical tips for families in each category and helpful resources such as the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units and the Environmental Working Group websites. Furthermore, Bole noted that chemicals in vaccines are a common source of vaccine hesitancy and pediatricians should be able to answer questions about vaccine ingredients.
“For vaccine-hesitant families concerned about chemical exposures, pediatricians can pivot to evidence-based strategies to avoid exposures to chemicals of concern, which can both empower families and build rapport when counseling about vaccine safety,” Bole added.
In an effort to raise awareness among pediatricians, Paul H. Lipkin, M.D., of Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, discussed the dangers of wandering and elopement by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The session focused on how wandering and elopement pose safety risks to those affected, with an average of 20 missing person cases and two to three deaths per month. The most common dangers are bodies of water and pedestrian motor vehicle accidents. Lipkin suggests that pediatricians educate families of children with ASD beginning in early childhood regarding the problem and risks of wandering from home, from school, and into the community. They should also screen children with ASD for wandering and elopement during the well-child visit and provide families with safety information and resources, including assisting in the development of a wandering emergency plan.
“Wandering and elopement are very common and preventable causes of serious injury and death in children with ASD,” Lipkin said. “With wandering being a major health and safety risk in children with autism, pediatricians need to be aware of the problem and help families take measures to prevent their child’s injury or possible fatality.”
AAP: Pediatric Fracture Volume Dropped During Pandemic
TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decrease in pediatric fracture volume, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics and presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held virtually from Oct. 2 to 5.
Racism, Preventive Care at Forefront of American Academy of Pediatrics Conference
TUESDAY, Oct. 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Hosting more than 14,000 virtual attendees, this year’s American Academy of Pediatrics conference initiated a call to action against racism and emphasized the importance of continuing to advocate for and being the voice of children. Elizabeth Murray, D.O., of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, sat down with HD Live! to discuss highlights of this year’s national conference, held virtually from Oct. 2 to5.
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