The relative risk of blood loss during corrective spine surgery in children appears linked to the underlying condition causing the spinal deformity, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Results of the study, published online March 15 in the journal Spine, can help surgeons prepare, plan and safeguard against this common and serious complication, the investigators say. Blood loss during surgery can increase the length of hospital stay, lead to complications and portend worse overall outcomes.
The Johns Hopkins investigation, believed to be the first to explore the link between intraoperative blood loss and pediatric patients’ underlying condition, is based on an analysis of 617 cases of children, ages 10 through 18, who had surgery to fuse bones to stabilize and correct a spine deformity. All surgeries were conducted at Johns Hopkins between 2001 and 2011.
Malaria continues to be a major disease worldwide, but while funding projects are working hard to improve malaria prevention it is difficult to measure how effective these interventions are. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Malaria Journal has used a Lives Saved Tool (LiST) model to show that the increase in funding for the prevention of malaria has prevented 850,000 child deaths in the decade between 2001 and 2010 across Africa.
According to the WHO, malaria caused an estimated 655 000 deaths in 2010, mostly among African children. They estimate that a child dies every minute due to malaria in Africa. Deaths which are unnecessary, because malaria is both preventable and curable. In addition to diagnosis and treatment of sick children, simple solutions to prevent the diseases like insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITN) and malaria prevention during pregnancy, (IPTp), have all been shown to reduce the number of deaths due to malaria. Initiatives like Roll Back Malaria, set up in 1998, aim to reduce child mortality due to malaria by two thirds, by 2015, using large scale implementation of these simple solutions.
Researchers from USA at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins, the WHO and the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA), used the LiST model to investigate the impact of malaria prevention in the decade between 2001 and 2010 across 43 countries in sub-Saharan Africa where malaria is endemic. The team, led by Dr Thomas Eisele, based their model on UN estimates of malaria deaths over the year 2000 and future population growth, the effectiveness of ITNs and IPTp in preventing child deaths, and the number of households using ITN to protect their children.
Policies addressing childhood hunger should target neighborhoods, not individual families, according to new research from Rice University.
Sociologists found that children living in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates and in those with high foreign-born populations and non-English speakers are more likely to experience hunger.
“Policymakers should be thinking about targeting whole communities, instead of what is done now, which is offering public aid programs for individual families,” said Rice sociology professor Justin Denney. “Public aid works on a limited basis, reaching approximately 70 percent of eligible individuals. But unfortunately, the remaining 30 percent are unaccounted for.”
The study, published in the Journal of Applied Research on Children, was co-authored by Denney and sociology professor Rachel Tobert Kimbro, co-founders of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s Urban Health Program at Rice, and postbaccalaureate fellow Sarita Panchang. They used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative dataset of more than 20,000 kindergarteners in 1998-1999, to examine individual, family and neighborhood characteristics of children who are or are not affected by hunger. In the dataset, the children were clustered according to schools and neighborhoods.
Children with autism often have problems developing motor skills, such as running, throwing a ball or even learning how to write. But scientists have not known whether those difficulties run in families or are linked to autism. New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis points to autism as the culprit.
Their findings were reported in the journal Autism.
“From our results, it looks like motor impairments may be part of the autism diagnosis, rather than a trait genetically carried in the family,” says lead author Claudia List Hilton, PhD, assistant professor in occupational therapy and an instructor in psychiatry. “That suggests that motor impairments are a core characteristic of the diagnosis.”
The researchers studied 144 children from 67 families in which at least one child had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder as well as at least one biological sibling in the same age group. Of the children families, there were 29 in which two had an autism spectrum disorder, including six identical twins; and 48 in which only one child had an autism spectrum disorder.
Can you imagine Social Services storming into your home like Special Ops and seizing your children because of what you’ve fed them?
Taking them away because you’ve allowed them a steady diet of Doritos and Twisters?
Declaring you unfit because you put sugary juice in your toddler’s bottle instead of milk?
Seems extreme. But it has come to that.
Febby Kemala Dewi returned to work at a Jakarta accounting firm after three months of maternity leave but struggled, like many new mums, to balance her home and work lives—especially keeping her infant daughter fed.
Unwilling to stop breastfeeding, unable to pump enough for a whole day in the morning before work and leery of giving her baby anything but the freshest milk, she finally turned to a unique Jakarta service—a breast milk motorbike courier.
“I have to work, but at the same time I can still feed my baby,” said Dewi, the wall by her desk plastered with pictures of her smiling daughter, eight-month-old Ashalina Putri.
In this week’s PLoS Medicine, Jay Berry of Harvard Medical School, USA and colleagues report findings from an analysis of hospitalization data in the United States, examining the proportion of inpatient resources attributable to care for children with neurological impairment (NI). Their results indicate that children with NI account for a substantial proportion of inpatient resources and that the impact of these children is growing within children’s hospitals, necessitating adequate clinical care and a coordination of efforts to ensure that the needs of children with NI are met.
The authors state: “We must ensure that the current health care system is staffed, educated, and equipped to serve, with efficiency and quality, this growing segment of vulnerable children.”
Funding: AP was supported by the Harvard Medical School Eleanor & Miles Shore Scholar/Children’s Hospital Boston Junior Faculty Career Development Fellowship. RS and JGB were supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development career development awards K23 HD052553 and K23 HD58092-02, respectively. JLB was supported by NIH K08 DA024753. This project was supported in part by the Children’s Health Research Center at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center Foundation. The funders and sponsors were not involved in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
Because of care advances, more infants and children with previously lethal health problems are surviving. Many, however, are left with lifelong neurologic impairment. A Children’s Hospital Boston study of more than 25 million pediatric hospitalizations in the U.S. now shows that neurologically impaired children, though still a relatively small part of the overall population, account for increasing hospital resources, particularly within children’s hospitals. Their analysis, based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), was published online January 17th in PLoS Medicine.
The researchers analyzed KID data from 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006, encompassing 25.7 million hospitalizations of children age 0 to 18. Of these, 1.3 million hospitalizations were for children with neurologic conditions, primarily cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
During the 10-year period, children with neurologic diagnoses were admitted more to children’s hospitals and less to community hospitals. At non-children’s hospitals, they made up a falling share of admissions (from 3 percent in 1997 to 2.5 percent in 2006); at children’s hospitals, they made up a rising share (from 11.7 percent of admissions in 1997 to 13.5 percent in 2006).
A growing number of U.S. kids say they have been picked on via text messaging, while there has been little change in online harassment, researchers reported Monday.
Of more than 1,100 middle school and high school students surveyed in 2008, 24 percent said they had ever been “harassed” by texting. That was up from about 14 percent in a survey of the same kids the year before.
“Harassment” meant that peers had spread rumors about them, made “rude or mean comments,” or threatened them.
Longer well-child visits for babies and toddlers make for happier parents because doctors can fit in more advice and answer more questions, a new study finds.
But most well-child visits last less than 20 minutes and pediatricians are getting even more time-crunched as health care systems look to cut extra expenses any way they can, researchers write in Pediatrics.
“The disability rates for children continue to increase, and the nature of disability is changing,” with more kids getting diagnosed with behavioral and developmental problems, lead author Dr. Neal Halfon, from the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, told Reuters Health.
It can be quite jarring for a parent or caregiver to look in the rearview mirror while driving and see their child roaming around the backseat free of their safety restraints. A study on child self-unbuckling by Yale School of Medicine researchers reveals that most children who first unbuckle were age three and under and that many children unbuckle while the vehicle is in motion—putting them at a 3.5-fold increased risk for serious injuries.
“We found that young children might acquire the motor skills to unbuckle from restraints before developing the cognitive ability to understand the necessity of automotive restraints,” said Lilia Reyes, M.D., clinical fellow in Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, Section of Emergency Medicine, who will present the results of the study at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Denver, Colo. on May 1.
“This pilot study elucidates a potential safety hazard in child motor vehicle restraint that needs to be addressed,” said Reyes, who points to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showing that motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among 4- to 8-year-olds.
When schools cut physical education programs so students can spend more time in the classroom, they may be missing a golden opportunity to promote learning, according to research to be presented Sunday, May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.
The study adds to growing evidence that exercise is good not only for the body but also the mind. It also shows that physical education and academic instruction need not be mutually exclusive.
Researchers Kathryn L. King, MD, and Carly J. Scahill, DO, pediatric residents at the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, led by William S. Randazzo, MD, FAAP, and James T. McElligott, MD, sought to determine how implementing a daily physical activity program that incorporated classroom lessons would affect student achievement. First- through sixth-graders at an academically low-scoring elementary school in Charleston, S.C., took part in the program 40 minutes a day, five days a week. Prior to initiation of the program, students spent 40 minutes per week in physical education classes.
A specific form of vitamin E improved the most severe form of fatty liver disease in some children, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Results appear in the April 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. A previous study found vitamin E effective in some adults with the disease.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease among U.S. children. NAFLD ranges in severity from steatosis (fat in the liver without injury) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH (fat, inflammation, and liver damage). Fatty liver increases a child’s risk of developing heart disease and liver cirrhosis. The only way to distinguish NASH from other forms of fatty liver disease is with a liver biopsy. Weight loss may reverse the disease in some children, but other than dietary advice, there are no specific treatments. Excess fat in the liver is believed to cause injury by increasing levels of oxidants, compounds that damage cells.
Most children with fatty liver disease are overweight and resistant to insulin, a critical hormone that regulates energy. Boys are more likely affected than girls, as are Hispanic children compared to African-Americans and whites.
Endless hours of piano practice can be the bane of a child’s life - but there might be an added benefit of sticking with it.
A study has found that learning a musical instrument as a child could keep you sharp into old age.
Pensioners who had piano, flute, clarinet or other lessons as a youngster, did better on intelligence tests than others.
A new study from the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry finds that mothers who feed their babies breast milk exclusively, as opposed to formula, are more likely to bond emotionally with their child during the first few months after delivery. The breastfeeding mothers surveyed for the study showed greater responses to their infant’s cry in brain regions related to caregiving behavior and empathy than mothers who relied upon formula as the baby’s main food source. This is the first paper to examine the underlying neurobiological mechanisms as a function of breastfeeding, and to connect brain activity with maternal behaviors among human mothers.
The fMRI-based findings suggest that breastfeeding and factors associated with breastfeeding, such has high levels of hormones (oxytocin, prolactin), stress, and culture may all play an important role for mothers’ brain activity and parenting behaviours during the early postpartum period. The research shows that up to three or four months after delivery some of the brain regions originally observed at one month postpartum (amygdala, putamen, globus pallidus, and superior frontal gyrus) continued to activate and were correlated with maternal, sensitive behavior among the same group of mothers.
The findings highlight the dramatic relationship between breastfeeding, brain activity and parenting behaviours during the early postpartum period.