PEDIATRICS recent issues

The Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Hydrolyzed Formulas, and Timing of Introduction of Allergenic Complementary Foods

This clinical report updates and replaces a 2008 clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which addressed the roles of maternal and early infant diet on the prevention of atopic disease, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, and food allergy. As with the previous report, the available data still limit the ability to draw firm conclusions about various aspects of atopy prevention through early dietary interventions. Current evidence does not support a role for maternal dietary restrictions during pregnancy or lactation. Although there is evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for 3 to 4 months decreases the incidence of eczema in the first 2 years of life, there are no short- or long-term advantages for exclusive breastfeeding beyond 3 to 4 months for prevention of atopic disease. The evidence now suggests that any duration of breastfeeding ≥3 to 4 months is protective against wheezing in the first 2 years of life, and some evidence suggests that longer duration of any breastfeeding protects against asthma even after 5 years of age. No conclusions can be made about the role of breastfeeding in either preventing or delaying the onset of specific food allergies. There is a lack of evidence that partially or extensively hydrolyzed formula prevents atopic disease. There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods, including peanuts, eggs, and fish, beyond 4 to 6 months prevents atopic disease. There is now evidence that early introduction of peanuts may prevent peanut allergy.

Public Policies to Reduce Sugary Drink Consumption in Children and Adolescents

Excess consumption of added sugars, especially from sugary drinks, poses a grave health threat to children and adolescents, disproportionately affecting children of minority and low-income communities. Public policies, such as those detailed in this statement, are needed to decrease child and adolescent consumption of added sugars and improve health.

Ongoing Pediatric Health Care for the Child Who Has Been Maltreated

Pediatricians provide continuous medical care and anticipatory guidance for children who have been reported to state child protection agencies, including tribal child protection agencies, because of suspected child maltreatment. Because families may continue their relationships with their pediatricians after these reports, these primary care providers are in a unique position to recognize and manage the physical, developmental, academic, and emotional consequences of maltreatment and exposure to childhood adversity. Substantial information is available to optimize follow-up medical care of maltreated children. This new clinical report will provide guidance to pediatricians about how they can best oversee and foster the optimal physical health, growth, and development of children who have been maltreated and remain in the care of their biological family or are returned to their care by Child Protective Services agencies. The report describes the pediatrician’s role in helping to strengthen families’ and caregivers’ capabilities and competencies and in promoting and maximizing high-quality services for their families in their community. Pediatricians should refer to other reports and policies from the American Academy of Pediatrics for more information about the emotional and behavioral consequences of child maltreatment and the treatment of these consequences.

Prescribing Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Services for Children With Disabilities

Pediatric health care providers are frequently responsible for prescribing physical, occupational, and speech therapies and monitoring therapeutic progress for children with temporary or permanent disabilities in their practices. This clinical report will provide pediatricians and other pediatric health care providers with information about how best to manage the therapeutic needs of their patients in the medical home by reviewing the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; describing the general goals of habilitative and rehabilitative therapies; delineating the types, locations, and benefits of therapy services; and detailing how to write a therapy prescription and include therapists in the medical home neighborhood.

Improving the Safety of Teratogen Prescribing Practices in a Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic

OBJECTIVES:

Although teratogenic medications are commonly used to treat rheumatic disease, no standard model currently exists for educating adolescent patients about teratogenic risk or performing routine pregnancy screening. We performed a quality improvement project to increase education and pregnancy screening in girls and women of childbearing age prescribed teratogenic medications in our pediatric rheumatology clinic.

METHODS:

Eligible participants included female patients age 10 and older prescribed teratogenic medications in a single-center tertiary care pediatric rheumatology clinic. Seven plan-do-study-act cycles were completed to test the following interventions: visible project reminders, physician and nurse education, progress updates, previsit planning, and development of an electronic health record education template. Chart reviews were performed, and control charts were created for each aim to analyze improvement over time.

RESULTS:

At baseline, 57 of 231 (24.7%) clinic encounters of female patients age 10 years and older taking teratogenic medications had education documented within the last 12 months, and 47 of 231 (20.3%) had pregnancy screening performed at the visit. Implementation of our interventions resulted in improvement in documentation of annual teratogen education (904 of 1135; 79.6%) and routine pregnancy screening (940 of 1135; 82.8%), both of which were statistically significant (P < .0001). Control charts revealed special cause with sustained improvement over >1 year.

CONCLUSIONS:

The interventions made through this quality improvement project increased the frequency of both teratogen education and urine pregnancy screening in patients taking teratogenic medications. Development of a standardized education template in the electronic health record played a key role in sustaining these improvements over time.

Lay Field-worker-Led School Health Program for Primary Schools in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

School health programs are frequently attempted in low- and/or middle-income countries; however, programmatic scope and reach is limited by human resource constraints. We sought to determine if trained community members could implement a school health program that improved outcomes in rural primary schools in India.

METHODS:

This was a mixed-methods, stepped-wedge, cluster-controlled study of schools pragmatically assigned to receive a multicomponent, comprehensive school health program delivered by lay field-workers.

RESULTS:

All students in 22 primary schools (9 government schools and 13 low-cost private schools) participated in this study. A total of 3033 student-years were included in the analysis (2100 student-years in the intervention period and 933 student-years in the control period). Qualitative feedback was collected from 38 teachers, 49 parents, and 4 field-workers. In low-cost private schools, the diarrhea incidence was lower in students receiving the intervention (incidence rate ratio 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.47 to 0.71; P < .001). There was no difference in diarrhea incidence for students in government schools (incidence rate ratio 0.87; 95% CI 0.68 to 1.12; P = .29). Health-knowledge acquisition was higher in intervention schools (mean difference 12.6%; 95% CI 8.8 to 16.4; P < .001) and similar in both school types. Intervention coverage rates were high (mean 93.9%; SD 2.0%), and performance assessment scores indicated fidelity (mean 3.45; SD 0.69). Stakeholders revealed favorable perceptions of the field-workers and high levels of perceived impact.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lay field-worker–led school health programs offer a promising alternative for improving school health delivery in resource-constrained settings.

Telephone-Based Developmental Screening and Care Coordination Through 2-1-1: A Randomized Trial

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Despite professional guidelines to conduct universal early childhood developmental screening, primary care providers often struggle with early identification of developmental delays, referrals to interventions, and connecting families to services. In this study, we tested the efficacy of telephone-based developmental screening and care coordination through 2-1-1 Los Angeles County, which is part of a national network of call centers, compared with usual care alone.

METHODS:

Children ages 12 to 42 months old who receive well-child care at a community health center serving predominantly Hispanic families were recruited and randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Families in the intervention group were connected with 2-1-1, in which a trained care coordinator conducted developmental screening over the phone using the Parental Evaluation of Development Status Online system and made referrals to intervention services on the basis of developmental risk. The 2-1-1 care coordinator then followed-up with families to assist with connections to evaluations and services. After 6 months, primary outcomes included the following: (1) percentage of children referred for developmental evaluation and intervention services and (2) percentage of children actually receiving services.

RESULTS:

One hundred and fifty-two children were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 77) and control (n = 75) groups. On the basis of intention-to-treat analyses, significantly more children assigned to the intervention group were referred (32% vs 9%; P = .001) and were receiving services (16% vs 1%; P = .002) within 6 months compared with children assigned to usual care alone.

CONCLUSIONS:

Telephone-based developmental screening and care coordination through 2-1-1 appears to be an effective approach for increasing the numbers of young children referred to, and receiving, intervention services for developmental delays.

Improving Standardization of Paging Communication Using Quality Improvement Methodology

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Paging is a primary mode of communication in hospitals, but message quality varies. With this project, we aimed to standardize paging, thus improving end user (EU) satisfaction, patient safety, and efficiency. Objectives were to increase the percent of pages containing 6 critical elements (CEs) (ie, the sender’s first and last name, a 7-digit callback number, patient name, room number, and urgency indicator [information only, call, or come] to 90%); improve EU satisfaction to 80% rating paging communication as good or excellent; and decrease the frequency of safety events related to paging.

METHODS:

This multidisciplinary, system-wide quality improvement study was conducted at our stand-alone academic children’s hospital. CEs were determined by EU consensus. Outcome measures were inclusion of all 6 CEs, provider satisfaction, and frequency of safety events. Process measures were inclusion of individual CEs and appropriateness and timeliness of response to pages. Balancing measures included number of work-arounds (WAs). Interventions included education, engineering a platform with required fields, and optimization enhancements. Statistical process control charts (p-charts; XmR) were used to track the impact of interventions.

RESULTS:

Special-cause improvement was noted in use of all 6 CEs (4.4%–79.7%) and individual CEs. EU satisfaction improved from 50% to 85% rating paging communication as good or excellent. Safety events related to paging remain infrequent. Specific WA use decreased by 60%.

CONCLUSIONS:

System-wide use of required fields produced significant improvement in inclusion of all 6 CEs and EU satisfaction. WAs were curbed by improving the ease of CE incorporation. Required fields should be considered at institutions seeking improved paging communication.

Parental Disengagement in Childhood and Adolescent Male Gun Carrying

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the association between parental disengagement in childhood and adolescent gun carrying and determine whether this association is accounted for by externalizing problems and affiliation with delinquent peers during early adolescence.

METHODS:

The sample included 503 boys (55.7% African American, 40.6% white, 3.7% other) recruited from first-grade classrooms in Pittsburgh public schools. Multi-informant assessments were conducted regularly (semiannually then annually) from approximately ages 7.5 to 20 years. Latent factors were constructed by using parent-reported parental disengagement (ie, poor parental involvement, poor parent-son communication, poor parent-son relationship quality) collected from ages 7.5 to 10 years, youth-reported peer delinquency from ages 10.5 to 13 years, and teacher-reported externalizing problems from ages 10.5 to 13 years. The outcome was youth-reported gun carrying from ages 14 to 20 years.

RESULTS:

Twenty percent of individuals sampled reported carrying a gun during adolescence. Childhood parental disengagement was significantly associated with adolescent gun carrying (β = .22; 95% confidence interval: 0.08 to 0.36). Furthermore, the association between parental disengagement and gun carrying was partially mediated through peer delinquency and externalizing problems during early adolescence. The 2 indirect paths accounted for ~29% of the total effect of parental disengagement.

CONCLUSIONS:

Boys exposed to poorer parental engagement during childhood are more likely to affiliate with delinquent peers and exhibit externalizing problems during early adolescence, which (in turn) increases their risk of carrying a firearm in later adolescence. This suggests that gun violence prevention efforts with children should work to enhance aspects of parental engagement.

Optimizing Drug-Drug Interaction Alerts Using a Multidimensional Approach

OBJECTIVES:

Excessive alerts are a common concern associated with clinical decision support systems that monitor drug-drug interactions (DDIs). To reduce the number of low-value interruptive DDI alerts at our hospital, we implemented an iterative, multidimensional quality improvement effort, which included an interdisciplinary advisory group, alert metrics, and measurement of perceived clinical value.

METHODS:

Alert data analysis indicated that DDIs were the most common interruptive medication alert. An interdisciplinary alert advisory group was formed to provide expert advice and oversight for alert refinement and ongoing review of alert data. Alert data were categorized into drug classes and analyzed to identify DDI alerts for refinement. Refinement strategies included alert suppression and modification of alerts to be contextually aware.

RESULTS:

On the basis of historical analysis of classified DDI alerts, 26 alert refinements were implemented, representing 47% of all alerts. Alert refinement efforts resulted in the following substantial decreases in the number of interruptive DDI alerts: 40% for all clinicians (22.9–14 per 100 orders) and as high as 82% for attending physicians (6.5–1.2 per 100 orders). Two patient safety events related to alert refinements were reported during the project period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our quality improvement effort refined 47% of all DDI alerts that were firing during historical analysis, significantly reduced the number of DDI alerts in a 54-week period, and established a model for sustained alert refinements.

LGBTQ Youth in Unstable Housing and Foster Care

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are suggested to be overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care. In the current study, we assess whether LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in unstable housing and foster care and examine disparities in school functioning, substance use, and mental health for LGBTQ youth versus heterosexual youth in unstable housing and foster care.

METHODS:

A total of 895 218 students (10–18 years old) completed the cross-sectional California Healthy Kids Survey from 2013 to 2015. Surveys were administered in 2641 middle and high schools throughout California. Primary outcome measures included school functioning (eg, school climate, absenteeism), substance use, and mental health.

RESULTS:

More youth living in foster care (30.4%) and unstable housing (25.3%) self-identified as LGBTQ than youth in a nationally representative sample (11.2%). Compared with heterosexual youth and youth in stable housing, LGBTQ youth in unstable housing reported poorer school functioning (Bs = –0.10 to 0.40), higher substance use (Bs = 0.26–0.28), and poorer mental health (odds ratios = 0.73–0.80). LGBTQ youth in foster care reported more fights in school (B = 0.16), victimization (B = 0.10), and mental health problems (odds ratios = 0.82–0.73) compared with LGBTQ youth in stable housing and heterosexual youth in foster care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Disparities for LGBTQ youth are exacerbated when they live in foster care or unstable housing. This points to a need for protections for LGBTQ youth in care and care that is affirming of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Pages