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Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVES:
To assess desensitization in parents’ repeated exposure to violence and sex in movies.

METHODS:
A national US sample of 1000 parents living with at least 1 target child in 1 of 3 age groups (6 to 17 years old) viewed a random sequence of 3 pairs of short scenes with either violent or sexual content from popular movies that were unrestricted to youth audiences (rated PG-13 or unrated) or restricted to those under age 17 years without adult supervision (rated R). Parents indicated the minimum age they would consider appropriate to view each film. Predictors included order of presentation, parent and child characteristics, and parent movie viewing history.

RESULTS:
As exposure to successive clips progressed, parents supported younger ages of appropriate exposure, starting at age 16.9 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.8 to 17.0) for violence and age 17.2 years (95% CI, 17.0 to 17.4) for sex, and declining to age 13.9 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.1) for violence and 14.0 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.3) for sex. Parents also reported increasing willingness to allow their target child to view the movies as exposures progressed. Desensitization was observed across parent and child characteristics, violence toward both human and non-human victims, and movie rating. Those who frequently watched movies were more readily desensitized to violence.

CONCLUSIONS:
Parents become desensitized to both violence and sex in movies, which may contribute to the increasing acceptance of both types of content by both parents and the raters employed by the film industry.

Hat tip: PW

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Sofas and Infant Mortality

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Sofas and Infant Mortality
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVE:
Sleeping on sofas increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related deaths. We sought to describe factors associated with infant deaths on sofas.

METHODS:
We analyzed data for infant deaths on sofas from 24 states in 2004 to 2012 in the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths Case Reporting System database. Demographic and environmental data for deaths on sofas were compared with data for sleep-related infant deaths in other locations, using bivariate and multivariable, multinomial logistic regression analyses.

RESULTS:
1024 deaths on sofas made up 12.9% of sleep-related infant deaths. They were more likely than deaths in other locations to be classified as accidental suffocation or strangulation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6–2.3) or ill-defined cause of death (aOR 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0–1.5). Infants who died on sofas were less likely to be Hispanic (aOR 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6–0.9) compared with non-Hispanic white infants or to have objects in the environment (aOR 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5–0.7) and more likely to be sharing the surface with another person (aOR 2.4; 95% CI, 1.9–3.0), to be found on the side (aOR 1.9; 95% CI, 1.4–2.4), to be found in a new sleep location (aOR 6.5; 95% CI, 5.2–8.2), and to have had prenatal smoke exposure (aOR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2–1.6). Data on recent parental alcohol and drug consumption were not available.

CONCLUSIONS:
The sofa is an extremely hazardous sleep surface for infants. Deaths on sofas are associated with surface sharing, being found on the side, changing sleep location, and experiencing prenatal tobacco exposure, which are all risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome and sleep-related deaths.

Emergency Hospitalizations for Unsupervised Prescription Medication Ingestions by Young Children

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Emergency Hospitalizations for Unsupervised Prescription Medication Ingestions by Young Children
Source: Pediatrics

BACKGROUND: Emergency department visits and subsequent hospitalizations of young children after unsupervised ingestions of prescription medications are increasing despite widespread use of child-resistant packaging and caregiver education efforts. Data on the medications implicated in ingestions are limited but could help identify prevention priorities and intervention strategies.

METHODS: We used nationally representative adverse drug event data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project and national retail pharmacy prescription data from IMS Health to estimate the frequency and rates of emergency hospitalizations for unsupervised prescription medication ingestions by young children (2007–2011).

RESULTS: On the basis of 1513 surveillance cases, 9490 estimated emergency hospitalizations (95% confidence interval: 6420–12 560) occurred annually in the United States for unsupervised prescription medication ingestions among children aged <6 years from 2007 through 2011; 75.4% involved 1- or 2-year old children. Opioids (17.6%) and benzodiazepines (10.1%) were the most commonly implicated medication classes. The most commonly implicated active ingredients were buprenorphine (7.7%) and clonidine (7.4%). The top 12 active ingredients, alone or in combination with others, were implicated in nearly half (45.0%) of hospitalizations. Accounting for the number of unique patients who received dispensed prescriptions, the hospitalization rate for unsupervised ingestion of buprenorphine products was significantly higher than rates for all other commonly implicated medications and 97-fold higher than the rate for oxycodone products (200.1 vs 2.1 hospitalizations per 100 000 unique patients).

CONCLUSIONS: Focusing unsupervised ingestion prevention efforts on medications with the highest hospitalization rates may efficiently achieve large public health impact.

Pre- and Postnatal Exposure to Parental Smoking and Allergic Disease Through Adolescence

September 8, 2014 Comments off

Pre- and Postnatal Exposure to Parental Smoking and Allergic Disease Through Adolescence
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVES: To examine the role of prenatal and postnatal second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure on asthma, rhinitis, and eczema development up to 16 years of age.

METHODS: A birth cohort of 4089 children was followed for 16 years. Information on parental smoking habits, lifestyle factors, and symptoms of allergic disease was gathered using repeated parental questionnaires. Generalized estimating equations assessed the overall and age-specific associations between SHS exposure and allergic disease at ages 1 to 16 years.

RESULTS: Exposure to SHS in utero was associated with an overall elevated risk of developing asthma up to 16 years (odds ratio [OR] = 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–1.83) but not for rhinitis or eczema. After additional adjustment for parental smoking throughout childhood, excess overall risks for asthma remained statistically significant. Moreover, a dose-dependent pattern with SHS was observed. Exposure to SHS during infancy was associated with an overall elevated risk of asthma (OR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.01–1.51), rhinitis (OR = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.01–1.39), and eczema (OR = 1.26; 95% CI, 1.09–1.45) up to 16 years. When age-specific associations were examined, the elevated risks related to SHS exposure in utero or during infancy were mostly confined to early childhood for asthma and rhinitis, whereas the excess risk of eczema appeared greatest at later ages.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that early SHS exposure, in utero or during infancy, influences the development of allergic disease up to adolescence. Excess risks for asthma and rhinitis were seen primarily in early childhood, whereas those for eczema occurred at later ages.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics — Policy Statement: School Start Times for Adolescents

August 27, 2014 Comments off

From the American Academy of Pediatrics — Policy Statement: School Start Times for Adolescents
Source: Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes insufficient sleep in adolescents as an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students. Although a number of factors, including biological changes in sleep associated with puberty, lifestyle choices, and academic demands, negatively affect middle and high school students’ ability to obtain sufficient sleep, the evidence strongly implicates earlier school start times (ie, before 8:30 AM) as a key modifiable contributor to insufficient sleep, as well as circadian rhythm disruption, in this population. Furthermore, a substantial body of research has now demonstrated that delaying school start times is an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss and has a wide range of potential benefits to students with regard to physical and mental health, safety, and academic achievement. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports the efforts of school districts to optimize sleep in students and urges high schools and middle schools to aim for start times that allow students the opportunity to achieve optimal levels of sleep (8.5–9.5 hours) and to improve physical (eg, reduced obesity risk) and mental (eg, lower rates of depression) health, safety (eg, drowsy driving crashes), academic performance, and quality of life.

Small Geographic Area Variations in Prescription Drug Use

August 18, 2014 Comments off

Small Geographic Area Variations in Prescription Drug Use
Source: Pediatrics

BACKGROUND: Despite the frequency of pediatric prescribing little is known about practice differences across small geographic regions and payer type (Medicaid and commercial).

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this research was to quantify variation in prescription drug use among northern New England children.

METHODS: Northern New England, all-payer administrative data (2007–2010) permitted study of prescriptions for 949 821 children ages 0 to 17 years (1.75 million person-years [PYs]; 54% Medicaid, 46% commercial). Age- and gender adjusted overall and drug group–specific prescription use was quantified according to payer type (Medicaid or commercial) and within payer type across 69 hospital service areas (HSAs). We measured prescription fills per PY (rate) and annual, mean percentage of the population with any drug group–specific fills (prevalence).

RESULTS: Overall mean annual prescriptions per PY were 3.4 (commercial) and 5.5 (Medicaid). Generally, these payer type differences were smaller than HSA-level variation within payer type. HSA-level rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug use (5th–95th percentile) varied twofold in Medicaid and more than twofold in commercially insured children; HSA-level antidepressant use varied more than twofold within each payer type. Antacid use varied threefold across HSAs and was highest in infants where commercial use paradoxically exceeded Medicaid. Prevalence of drug use varied as much as rates across HSAs.

CONCLUSIONS: Prescription use was higher among Medicaid-insured than commercially insured children. Regional variation generally exceeded payer type differences, especially for drugs used in situations of diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty. Efforts should advance best pediatric prescribing discussions and shared decision-making.

Sexting and Sexual Behavior Among Middle School Students

July 3, 2014 Comments off

Sexting and Sexual Behavior Among Middle School Students
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVE:
It is unknown if “sexting” (ie, sending/receiving sexually explicit cell phone text or picture messages) is associated with sexual activity and sexual risk behavior among early adolescents, as has been found for high school students. To date, no published data have examined these relationships exclusively among a probability sample of middle school students.

METHODS:
A probability sample of 1285 students was collected alongside the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Los Angeles middle schools. Logistic regressions assessed the correlates of sexting behavior and associations between sexting and sexual activity and risk behavior (ie, unprotected sex).

RESULTS:
Twenty percent of students with text-capable cell phone access reported receiving a sext and 5% reported sending a sext. Students who text at least 100 times per day were more likely to report both receiving (odds ratio [OR]: 2.4) and sending (OR: 4.5) sexts and to be sexually active (OR: 4.1). Students who sent sexts (OR: 3.2) and students who received sexts (OR: 7.0) were more likely to report sexual activity. Compared with not being sexually active, excessive texting and receiving sexts were associated with both unprotected sex (ORs: 4.7 and 12.1, respectively) and with condom use (ORs: 3.7 and 5.5, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:
Because early sexual debut is correlated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancies, pediatricians should discuss sexting with young adolescents because this may facilitate conversations about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy prevention. Sexting and associated risks should be considered for inclusion in middle school sex education curricula.

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