PEDIATRICS recent issues

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Dynamics in a Sleep-Away Camp


In late June 2020, a large outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred at a sleep-away youth camp in Georgia, affecting primarily persons ≤21 years. We conducted a retrospective cohort study among campers and staff (attendees) to determine the extent of the outbreak and assess factors contributing to transmission.


Attendees were interviewed to ascertain demographic characteristics, known exposures to COVID-19 and community exposures, and mitigation measures before, during, and after attending camp. COVID-19 case status was determined for all camp attendees on the basis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test results and reported symptoms. We calculated attack rates and instantaneous reproduction numbers and sequenced SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from the outbreak.


Among 627 attendees, the median age was 15 years (interquartile range: 12–16 years); 56% (351 of 627) of attendees were female. The attack rate was 56% (351 of 627) among all attendees. On the basis of date of illness onset or first positive test result on a specimen collected, 12 case patients were infected before arriving at camp and 339 case patients were camp associated. Among 288 case patients with available symptom information, 45 (16%) were asymptomatic. Despite cohorting, 50% of attendees reported direct contact with people outside their cabin cohort. On the first day of camp session, the instantaneous reproduction number was 10. Viral genomic diversity was low.


Few introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into a youth congregate setting resulted in a large outbreak. Testing strategies should be combined with prearrival quarantine, routine symptom monitoring with appropriate isolation and quarantine, cohorting, social distancing, mask wearing, and enhanced disinfection and hand hygiene. Promotion of mitigation measures among younger populations is needed.

Incidence and Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Schools


In an effort to mitigate the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), North Carolina closed prekindergarten through grade 12 public schools to in-person instruction on March 14, 2020. On July 15, 2020, North Carolina’s governor announced schools could open via remote learning or a hybrid model that combined in-person and remote instruction. In August 2020, 56 of 115 North Carolina school districts joined The ABC Science Collaborative (ABCs) to implement public health measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission and share lessons learned. We describe secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within participating school districts during the first 9 weeks of in-person instruction in the 2020–2021 academic year.


From August 15, 2020 to October 23, 2020, 11 of 56 school districts participating in ABCs were open for in-person instruction for all 9 weeks of the first quarter and agreed to track incidence and secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Local health department staff adjudicated secondary transmission. Superintendents met weekly with ABCs faculty to share lessons learned and develop prevention methods.


Over 9 weeks, 11 participating school districts had >90 000 students and staff attend school in person. Among these students and staff, 773 community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections were documented by molecular testing. Through contact tracing, health department staff determined an additional 32 infections were acquired within schools. No instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools.


In the first 9 weeks of in-person instruction in North Carolina schools, we found extremely limited within-school secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as determined by contact tracing.

Can Parents Restrict Access to Their Adolescents Voice?: Deciding About a Tracheostomy

Parents are the default decision-makers for their infants and children. Their decisions should be based on the best interests of their children. Differing interpretations of children’s best interests may be a source of conflict. Providers’ biased evaluations of patients’ quality of life may undermine medicine’s trustworthiness. As children mature, they should participate in medical decision-making to the extent that is developmentally appropriate. In this month’s Ethics Rounds, physicians, a philosopher, and a lawyer consider parents’ demand, supported by the hospital’s legal department, that their 17-year-old son be excluded from a potentially life-and-death medical decision.

Caring for American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Adolescents

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have substantial health inequities, and most of their disease entities begin in childhood. In addition, AI/AN children and adolescents have excessive disease rates compared with the general pediatric population. Because of this, providers of pediatric care are in a unique position not only to attenuate disease incidence during childhood but also to improve the health status of this special population as a whole. This policy statement examines the inequitable disease burden observed in AI/AN youth, with a focus on toxic stress, mental health, and issues related to suicide and substance use disorder, risk of and exposure to injury and violence in childhood, obesity and obesity-related cardiovascular risk factors and disease, foster care, and the intersection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit and AI/AN youth. Opportunities for advocacy in policy making also are presented.

Umbilical Cord Management for Newborns <34 Weeks' Gestation: A Meta-analysis


The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation prioritized scientific review of umbilical cord management strategies at preterm birth.


To determine the effects of umbilical cord management strategies (including timing of cord clamping and cord milking) in preterm infants <34 weeks’ gestation.


Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and trial registries were searched through July 2019 for randomized controlled trials assessing timing of cord clamping and/or cord milking.


Two authors independently assessed trial eligibility, extracted data, appraised risk of bias, and assessed evidence certainty (GRADE).


We identified 42 randomized controlled trials (including 5772 infants) investigating 4 different comparisons of cord management interventions.


Compared to early cord clamping, delayed cord clamping (DCC) and intact-cord milking (ICM) may slightly improve survival; however, both are compatible with no effect (DCC: risk ratio: 1.02, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.04, n = 2988 infants, moderate certainty evidence; ICM: risk ratio: 1.02, 95% confidence interval: 0.98 to 1.06, n = 945 infants, moderate certainty evidence). DCC and ICM both probably improve hematologic measures but may not affect major neonatal morbidities.


For many of the included comparisons and outcomes, certainty of evidence was low. Our subgroup analyses were limited by few researchers reporting subgroup data.


DCC appears to be associated with some benefit for infants born <34 weeks. Cord milking needs further evidence to determine potential benefits or harms. The ideal cord management strategy for preterm infants is still unknown, but early clamping may be harmful.

Trends in Dispensed Opioid Analgesic Prescriptions to Children in South Carolina: 2010-2017


Despite published declines in opioid prescribing and dispensing to children in the past decade, in few studies have researchers evaluated all children in 1 state or examined changes in mean daily opioid dispensed. In this study, we evaluated changes in the rate of dispensed opioid analgesics and the mean daily opioid dispensed to persons 0 to 18 years old in 1 state over an 8-year period.


We identified opioid analgesics dispensed to children 0 to 18 years old between 2010 and 2017 using South Carolina prescription drug monitoring program data. We used generalized linear regression analyses to examine changes over time in the following: (1) rate of dispensed opioid prescriptions and (2) mean daily morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) per prescription.


From the first quarter of 2010 to the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, the quarterly rate of opioids dispensed decreased from 18.68 prescriptions per 1000 state residents to 12.03 per 1000 residents (P < .0001). The largest declines were among the oldest individuals, such as the 41.2% decline among 18-year-olds. From 2010 through 2017, the mean daily MME dispensed declined by 7.6%, from 40.7 MMEs per day in 2010 to 37.6 MMEs per day in 2017 (P < .0001), but the decrease was limited to children 0 to 9 years old.


The rate of opioid analgesic prescriptions dispensed to children 0 to 18 years old in South Carolina declined by 35.6% over the years 2010–2017; however, the MME dispensed per day declined minimally, suggesting that more can be done to improve opioid prescribing and dispensing.

Time to First Onset of Chest Binding-Related Symptoms in Transgender Youth


Most transgender individuals assigned female at birth use chest binding (ie, wearing a tight garment to flatten chest tissue for the purpose of gender expression), often beginning in adolescence, to explore their gender identity. Although binding is often critical for mental health, negative physical side effects, ranging from chronic pain to rib fractures, are common. Time to first onset of symptoms is unknown.


A community-engaged, online, cross-sectional survey ("The Binding Health Project") enrolled 1800 assigned female at birth or intersex individuals who had ever used chest binding. Lifetime prevalence of 27 pain, musculoskeletal, neurologic, gastrointestinal, generalized, respiratory, and skin or soft tissue symptoms related to binding was assessed. Nonparametric likelihood estimation methods were used to estimate survival curves.


More than one-half (56%) of participants had begun binding by age 21, and 30% had begun by age 18. In 18 of 27 symptoms, the majority of people who go on to experience the event will do so within the first binding-year, but several skin-related and rare but serious outcomes (eg, rib fracture) took longer to occur. Pain presents rapidly but continues to rise in intensity over time, peaking at >5 years of binding.


Although many symptoms emerge quickly, others can take years to develop. Individuals and their clinicians can use this information to make informed decisions on how to structure binding practices and top surgery timing while meeting goals related to gender expression and mental health. Access to puberty blockers may delay initiation of binding, preventing binding-related symptoms in youth.

Hemolysis and Neurologic Impairment in PAMI Syndrome: Novel Characteristics of an Elusive Disease

PSTPIP1-associated myeloid-related proteinemia inflammatory (PAMI) syndrome is a rare early-onset autoinflammatory disease associated with various hematologic findings, including chronic neutropenia and pancytopenia. We report a unique case of PAMI syndrome in a toddler with transfusion-dependent hemolytic anemia, hepatosplenomegaly, failure to thrive, developmental delay, and multiple malformations. Because of acute inflammatory-driven decompensation, anakinra was started with dramatic improvement of both the hematologic and neurologic involvement. A customized next-generation sequencing panel later identified a de novo pathogenic variant in the PSTPIP1 gene, confirming the diagnosis. Our case illustrates the broad spectrum of phenotypes associated with PAMI syndrome, which should be considered in any case of unexplained cytopenias associated with autoinflammatory stigmata. It is also one of the few reports of neurologic involvement in PSTPIP1-associated inflammatory diseases. Increased awareness of this rare disease and early performance of genetic testing can correctly diagnose PAMI syndrome and prevent disease complications.

PIGA Mutations Can Mimic Neonatal Hemochromatosis

Neonatal hemochromatosis (NH), one of the most common causes of liver failure in the neonate, often causes fetal loss or death during the neonatal period. Most cases are thought to be due to gestational alloimmune disease; however, other rare causes have been reported. NH is generally considered congenital and familial but not heritable. We present an infant diagnosed with NH whose clinical course differed significantly from that of most NH cases: at 11 months of age he had normal levels of liver enzymes, ferritin, and bilirubin, and normal neurodevelopment. This term male infant was born with a history of intrauterine growth restriction, oligohydramnios, and pericardial effusion. On day of life 1, he had hyperbilirubinemia and transaminitis; on day of life 3, ferritin was elevated; and on day of life 9, an MRI revealed iron deposits in the liver and renal cortex. Phenotypic features prompted a genetics consult. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a variant in the phosphatidylinositol glycan biosynthesis class A protein (PIGA) gene. Germ-line PIGA mutations are generally thought to be lethal in utero; however, there are reports of infants with PIGA mutations associated with dysmorphic features, neurologic manifestations, biochemical perturbations, and systemic iron overload; development can be normal up to 6 months of age. Because of the differences between infants with NH versus PIGA germ-line mutations in inheritance, prognosis, and natural history of disease, we propose that PIGA gene testing should be considered when evaluating newborns who present with NH.