PEDIATRICS recent issues

Sport-Related Concussion in Children and Adolescents

Sport-related concussion is an important topic in nearly all sports and at all levels of sport for children and adolescents. Concussion knowledge and approaches to management have progressed since the American Academy of Pediatrics published its first clinical report on the subject in 2010. Concussion’s definition, signs, and symptoms must be understood to diagnose it and rule out more severe intracranial injury. Pediatric health care providers should have a good understanding of diagnostic evaluation and initial management strategies. Effective management can aid recovery and potentially reduce the risk of long-term symptoms and complications. Because concussion symptoms often interfere with school, social life, family relationships, and athletics, a concussion may affect the emotional well-being of the injured athlete. Because every concussion has its own unique spectrum and severity of symptoms, individualized management is appropriate. The reduction, not necessarily elimination, of physical and cognitive activity is the mainstay of treatment. A full return to activity and/or sport is accomplished by using a stepwise program while evaluating for a return of symptoms. An understanding of prolonged symptoms and complications will help the pediatric health care provider know when to refer to a specialist. Additional research is needed in nearly all aspects of concussion in the young athlete. This report provides education on the current state of sport-related concussion knowledge, diagnosis, and management in children and adolescents.

Clinical Practice Guideline: Maintenance Intravenous Fluids in Children

Maintenance intravenous fluids (IVFs) are used to provide critical supportive care for children who are acutely ill. IVFs are required if sufficient fluids cannot be provided by using enteral administration for reasons such as gastrointestinal illness, respiratory compromise, neurologic impairment, a perioperative state, or being moribund from an acute or chronic illness. Despite the common use of maintenance IVFs, there is high variability in fluid prescribing practices and a lack of guidelines for fluid composition administration and electrolyte monitoring. The administration of hypotonic IVFs has been the standard in pediatrics. Concerns have been raised that this approach results in a high incidence of hyponatremia and that isotonic IVFs could prevent the development of hyponatremia. Our goal in this guideline is to provide an evidence-based approach for choosing the tonicity of maintenance IVFs in most patients from 28 days to 18 years of age who require maintenance IVFs. This guideline applies to children in surgical (postoperative) and medical acute-care settings, including critical care and the general inpatient ward. Patients with neurosurgical disorders, congenital or acquired cardiac disease, hepatic disease, cancer, renal dysfunction, diabetes insipidus, voluminous watery diarrhea, or severe burns; neonates who are younger than 28 days old or in the NICU; and adolescents older than 18 years old are excluded. We specifically address the tonicity of maintenance IVFs in children.

The Key Action Statement of the subcommittee is as follows:

1A: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that patients 28 days to 18 years of age requiring maintenance IVFs should receive isotonic solutions with appropriate potassium chloride and dextrose because they significantly decrease the risk of developing hyponatremia (evidence quality: A; recommendation strength: strong)

Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children

Pediatricians are a source of advice for parents and guardians concerning the management of child behavior, including discipline strategies that are used to teach appropriate behavior and protect their children and others from the adverse effects of challenging behavior. Aversive disciplinary strategies, including all forms of corporal punishment and yelling at or shaming children, are minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term. With new evidence, researchers link corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children. In this Policy Statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidance for pediatricians and other child health care providers on educating parents about positive and effective parenting strategies of discipline for children at each stage of development as well as references to educational materials. This statement supports the need for adults to avoid physical punishment and verbal abuse of children.

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