Archive for the ‘American Academy of Pediatrics’ Category

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Children, Adolescents, and the Media

October 15, 2014 Comments off

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Children, Adolescents, and the Media
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Media, from television to the “new media” (including cell phones, iPads, and social media), are a dominant force in children’s lives. Although television is still the predominant medium for children and adolescents, new technologies are increasingly popular. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to be concerned by evidence about the potential harmful effects of media messages and images; however, important positive and prosocial effects of media use should also be recognized. Pediatricians are encouraged to take a media history and ask 2 media questions at every well-child visit: How much recreational screen time does your child or teenager consume daily? Is there a television set or Internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom? Parents are encouraged to establish a family home use plan for all media. Media influences on children and teenagers should be recognized by schools, policymakers, product advertisers, and entertainment producers.

Health Issues for Judges to Consider for Children in Foster Care

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Health Issues for Judges to Consider for Children in Foster Care (PDF)
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Children in foster care have a host of unmet health needs, including not only physical health, but also mental, developmental and behavioral, and dental health needs. Addressing these health needs, as well as educational needs, improves children’s overall wellbeing, increases placement stability, and increases the likelihood of a child achieving permanency in a loving and supportive family situation.

Juvenile court judges are uniquely able to influence the health and well-being of children in foster care by asking about a child’s health status and special needs, ordering appropriate assessments and services, and ensuring that identified needs are addressed through the child’s court-ordered case plan. Judges can require that attorneys, caseworkers, and caregivers bring detailed information about a child’s health to court.

This booklet provides an overview of important health issues for children and youth in foster care. The appendix provides 3 downloadable age-appropriate forms that judges share with case workers or caregivers to obtain, record, and track relevant health information for individual children, thus improving outcomes for children and youth in foster care.

Public Health Benefit of Active Video Games Is Not Clear-Cut

March 4, 2012 Comments off

Public Health Benefit of Active Video Games Is Not Clear-Cut
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Simply giving a child an “active” video game will not necessarily increase his or her physical activity, according to the study, “Impact of an Active Video Game on Healthy Children’s Physical Activity,” in the March 2012 Pediatrics (published online Feb. 27). Researchers gave 87 children a game console, and either two “active” video games or two “inactive” games. Examples of active games include those in which players dance or use their bodies to simulate bowling. The children kept a log of their play times, and their activity levels were measured over a 12-week period using an accelerometer (a device that measures acceleration and exertion). The children who were given active games were not more physically active than those given inactive games.

The authors note that children have played active video games with moderate to vigorous physical activity in laboratory settings, but that did not translate to “real life.” They theorize that the children either did not elect to play the active games at the same level of intensity as in the lab, or they chose to be less active at other times of the day. However, providing explicit instructions to use the active games appeared to lead to increased physical activity, which could make the games useful as part of interventions that prescribe using the games for a set amount of time.

+ Full Paper (PDF)

Driver Education Training Varies by State

February 16, 2012 Comments off

Driver Education Training Varies by State
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Inexperience is a main factor contributing to high crash rates for teen drivers. Formal driver education programs, including behind-the-wheel training with adult supervision, can help new drivers gain the experience needed to remain safe. But driver education requirements vary state by state.

The study, “Variation in Teen Driver Education by State Requirements and Sociodemographics,” in the March 2012 Pediatrics (published online Feb. 13), found that 78.8 percent of public high school students with driver’s licenses reported participating in a formal driver education program. However, in states without a driver education requirement, more than 1 in 3 students received no formal driver education before getting their licenses. In addition, more than half reported having no formal behind-the-wheel training. Hispanics, blacks, males and students with lower academic achievements participated in driver education at a much lower level in states that do not require it. In fact, 71 percent of Hispanic students in these states obtained a license with no formal training. The authors conclude that state driver education requirements may be an effective strategy to reduce disparities in these groups.

+ Full Report (Pediatrics)