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American Academy of Pediatrics




Select articles from Pediatrics are published online each Monday of the month before the print issue. Fifteen articles from the January 2012 print issue will be published online Monday, December 5. The embargo on these articles will lift Monday, December 5, at 12:01 a.m. ET.

To request the full text of individual studies, contact Debbie Linchesky at dlinchesky@aap.org  (847-434-7084) or Susan Martin at ssmartin@aap.org  (847-434-7131). Please do not send e-mails to the AAP media mailing box, as it is not monitored.

All print, broadcast and online journalists who receive the AAP media mailing agree to abide by the embargo and may not publish, post, broadcast or distribute embargoed news releases or details of the embargoed studies before the embargo date and time. Please review the Embargo Policy at http://www.aap.org/pressroom/aappr-embargopolicy.htm.

Pediatrics is the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The journal’s editorial process is independent of the AAP. Other than official AAP-authored reports, articles published in Pediatrics do not necessarily reflect the policies of the AAP. Please attribute the source as the journal, Pediatrics when covering information from this mailing.

December 5 News Highlights


An increasing number of adolescents participate in “sexting,” which is sending sexually explicit images of themselves or other minors by cell phone or the Internet. In the study, “Prevalence and Characteristics of Youth Sexting: A National Study” in the January 2012 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 5, 2011), 1,560 Internet users ages 10 through 17 were surveyed about their experiences with appearing in, creating, or receiving sexual images or videos. The study found that 2.5 percent of youth surveyed have participated in sexting in the past year, but only 1 percent involved images that potentially violate child pornography laws. If sexting is defined as transmitting sexually suggestive images, rather than sexually explicit images, that number increases to 9.6 percent. Most kids who have participated do so as a prank or while in a relationship, and a significant number of the incidents (31 percent) included alcohol or drug use. Only a small number of youth admitted to forwarding or posting the images, but half of the incidents occurred more than once. Study authors feel that more young people need to be educated on the consequences of possessing or distributing sexually explicit images, which is currently treated as a criminal offense.

Editor’s Note: a related study, “How Often Are Teens Arrested for Sexting? Data From a National Sample of Police Cases,” will also be published online in the Dec. 5 Pediatrics.


More than half a million children in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. Adults who suffer TBI often report headaches afterward, but little is known about how often children suffer headaches after similar injuries. In the study, “Headache After Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study,” in the January 2012 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 5, 2011), researchers analyzed the prevalence of headaches three and 12 months after mild and moderate or severe TBI in children ages 5 to 17. Three months after a mild TBI, 43 percent of children reported headache, compared to 37 percent of children who had a moderate to severe TBI, and 26 percent of children in the control group. The risk of headache was highest in adolescents and in girls. Study authors conclude that the response to and recovery from TBI is different for children, adolescents and adults, and that boys and girls are likely to have different symptoms and recovery. Because of the high number of children suffering TBI every year, the study findings indicate many children and adolescents suffer from TBI-associated headaches every year.

AAP Parenting Tips

Preventing and Identifying Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a difficult subject for most people to discuss, and especially difficult for parents to discuss with their children. But as frighten­ing as the topic may be, sexual abuse is a serious and, unfortunately, common problem that affects both boys and girls. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers tips for what parents should know about child sexual abuse, and how to minimize their children’s risk of molestation. Tips are available at http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/childsexualabuse.cfm. To arrange an interview with an AAP spokesperson on this topic, contact the AAP Department of Communications at 847-434-7877 or commun@aap.org.

Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are an exciting time of year for kids. To help ensure they have a safe holiday season, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers safety tips on holiday decorations, toys, food and visiting relatives. Tips are available in English and Spanish at http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/novtips.cfm

AAP News Release


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

CHICAGO – Parents often have questions about how environmental hazards affect their children’s health. They wonder about plasticizers in baby bottles, about the amount of mercury in fish, whether or not organic foods are safer than other foods, or if their child’s health is at risk by living near a landfill. 

The newly revised “Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition” from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Environmental Health equips pediatricians and other health care providers to answer those questions with the most up-to-date research and recommendations. The new edition was published in October 2011.

“This book is packed with more than a pound of prevention,” said pediatrician Ruth Etzel, MD, FAAP, the book’s editor. “It is filled with advice for pediatricians and others who care for young children to help them prevent illnesses resulting from exposure to harmful substances and environments.”

Known to pediatricians as the “Green Book,” this comprehensive, more than 900-page guide contains new information reflecting a changing world. Twenty-two new chapters have been introduced in this edition, covering topics such as birth defects, global climate change, plasticizers, and the precautionary principle. The latest scientific updates have been added to all 43 chapters from the second edition. Individual sections focus on specific environments, air, food and water, chemical and physical hazards, and public health aspects of pediatric environmental health.

Each chapter concludes with a list of frequently asked questions, such as:

Is it all right for my child to use a cellular telephone?

  • How can I tell if a toy has lead paint or is made of lead?
  • Why is there controversy over bisphenol A?
  • Should I test for radon in my home?
  • Can exposure to chemicals from carpets make people sick?
  • We live close to a nuclear power plant. Should I be concerned?
  • Are sandboxes and sand safe for children?
  • Are tanning salons safe?

“Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition” was developed under the editorial direction of Dr. Etzel and Associate Editor Sophie J. Balk, MD, FAAP. Numerous reviewers and contributors from the AAP assisted in developing the book.


Ruth A. Etzel, MD, PhD, FAAP,

Dr Etzel is a pediatrician and preventive medicine specialist on the adjunct faculty at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, DC. An internationally recognized environmental epidemiologist, she has studied the effects of passive smoking on children, the environmental triggers for asthma attacks, and the health problems resulting from exposures to molds and other indoor air pollutants. She received the Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding leadership in protecting children from environmental health risks.

Sophie J. Balk, MD, FAAP,

Dr. Balk is a general pediatrician at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and professor of clinical pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She practices pediatrics and teaches in a community-based health center in the Bronx, N.Y. Dr. Balk’s academic work has focused on pediatric environmental health issues and integrating those issues into pediatric practice. Dr. Balk has written and lectured about smoking cessation, sun safety and other environmental health issues relevant to clinical practice. 

Full Table of Contents for December 5 Pediatrics

Antihypertensive Prescribing Patterns for Adolescents With Primary Hypertension

Childhood Cumulative Risk and Obesity: The Mediating Role of Self-Regulatory Ability

Correlates of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in the United States and Puerto Rico

Corticosteroid Pulse Combination Therapy for Refractory Kawasaki Disease:

A Randomized Trial

Headache After Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: A Cohort Study

How Often Are Teens Arrested for Sexting? Data From a National Sample of Police Cases

Mosaic 7q31 Deletion Involving FOXP2 Gene Associated With Language Impairment (case report)

Prevalence and Characteristics of Youth Sexting: A National Study

Sustained Reduction in Neonatal Nosocomial Infections Through Quality Improvement Efforts

Symptoms and Time to Medical Care in Children With Accidental Extremity Fractures

Testing Children for Adult-Onset Genetic Diseases

Translational Research in Pediatrics: Tissue Sampling and Biobanking

Trends in Preventive Asthma Medication Use Among Children and Adolescents, 1988–2008

Unmanipulated Donor Lymphocytes for EBV-Related PTLD After T-Cell Depleted HLA-Haploidentical Transplantation (case report)

Wide Variation in Reference Values for Aluminum Levels in Children


The FAAP designation following a pediatrician’s name stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatricians with a FAAP designation have obtained board certification in pediatrics and made an ongoing commitment to continuing learning and advocacy for children.

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