In the spotlight
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection remains a leading cause of hearing loss and developmental disability in children. Efforts to prevent congenital CMV infection by increased public awareness and education directed at pregnant women have been ongoing. In 2015, legislation was passed in Connecticut, Hawaii, Texas, and Illinois requiring educational materials about CMV transmission, infection, diagnosis, etc. be provided to prospective parents. A few states also require CMV testing of infants who fail the newborn hearing screen. These states join Utah, where laws concerning CMV education and newborn testing (for failed hearing screen) were passed in 2013. Recent advances in the treatment of congenital CMV makes early diagnosis of affected newborns even more critical. (see: Valganciclovir for symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus disease. Kimberlin, et al., N Engl J Med. 2015.).
"Growth Charts for Children with Down Syndrome in the United States"
Per the CDC, approximately 1 in 700 children with Down Syndrome (DS) are born each year in the United States. Screening for potential medical complications, close attention to anticipatory guidance, and knowledge of growth pattern norms for this unique patient population are key contributors to the care of children with DS. A recent study published by Zemel, et. al. provides new growth charts for children with DS that were developed by analyzing over 1500 measurements from 637 participants. These new charts show an improvement in weight gain for children less than 3 years of age when compared to older DS growth curves published in 1988 (Cronk, et. al.). These new growth charts can be a useful tool for the assessment of growth and nutritional status in children with Down Syndrome.
in the news
Physician Dismissal of Families Who Refuse Vaccines
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages pediatricians from dismissing families from their practice for vaccine refusal. In a 2013 reaffirmation of the publication “Responding to parents who refuse to immunize their children”, the AAP states: “In general, pediatricians should endeavor not to discharge patients from their practices solely because a parent refuses to immunize a child.”. Despite this recommendation, a recent study reveals that many pediatricians choose to dismiss vaccine-refusers from their practice. Regional location, type of practice setting, and state policies regarding vaccine exemptions were noted to be significant variables for pediatricians who were likely to dismiss vaccine refusing families.
IAC: Give Birth to the End of Hepatitis B!
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has created a comprehensive guide to promote the administration of the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborns prior to discharge from the hospital or birthing center. They report that nearly 1 in 3 newborns currently do not receive the recommended Hepatitis B vaccine at birth and that receiving the vaccine could prevent 800 newborns from contracting perinatal Hepatitis B.
Infant Deaths Associated with the Usage of Infant Sleep Positioners
The CDC reports that 13 infants in the past 13 years have died of suffocation as a result of Infant Sleep Positioners (ISPs). These ISPs are devices that allow an infant to sleep on his/her side, rather than the supine position recommend by the AAP. Pediatricians and other healthcare providers should remember to counsel families about “safe sleep” habits at home which include infants sleeping in their own bed, supine and without soft objects or loose bedding.
Raising Awareness: Late Preterm Birth and Non-Medically Indicated Introductions Prior to 39 Weeks
he National Child and Maternal Health Program offers an online educational module, Raising Awareness: Late Preterm Birth and Non-Medically Indicated Inductions Prior to 39 Weeks, that addresses the science behind medical recommendations to schedule elective deliveries on or after 39 weeks’ gestation.
More information »
New resources are available. This is designed to help pediatricians deliver quality care and conduct an efficient, fiscally sound practice.
what does the section on perinatal pediatrics do?
The Section on Perinatal Pediatrics committees and working groups focus on perinatal health from many viewpoints.
AAP National Conference and Exhibition
October 20-23, 2016
San Francisco, CA
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