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"Pediatric News Updates" are reported from actual news sources,
but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Families United on the Net, www.thefunplace.com. For the well-being of all children, parents should not try to diagnose their children, but should seek the advice and care of a pediatrician or family physician.
CHILDREN REMOVED FROM LIFE SUPPORT COULD BE ORGAN DONORS
June 1998 - Many children who die after being removed from life support meet the necessary criteria to become pediatric non-heartbeating organ donors (NHBD), according to a study release in this month's Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Research indicates that many of these opportunities are currently being lost -- as NHBD's are not widely accepted in the United States. Most pediatric organ donations in the United States come from brain-dead patients, and NHBD's still have some brain activity at the time of removal from life support. While state and local governments have not addressed the use of NHBD's, hospitals and organ procurement agencies are now exploring the option in order to cope with the inadequate supply of viable pediatric organs. The study's authors state that if all severely brain-injured, but not brain-dead, pediatric patients forgoing life support consented to donation, qualified candidates would contribute to a 42 percent increase in organ donation.
POOL FENCING ALONE DOES NOT PREVENT DROWNINGS
June 1998 - Pool fencing alone does not prevent the majority of drownings of children younger than 5, but fencing used with other safety measures can decrease the death rate, according to a new study. In the United States, drowning is the third most common cause of unintentional injury death for children younger than age 5 each year. Researchers recommend additional strategies to prevent drownings, such as the use of pool covers and alarms. In addition, caretakers should be educated about water safety and the importance of constant monitory of children at pools, the need for telephone and rescue equipment at the pool, and the value of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Researchers also suggest toys be removed from the pool after use so children are not tempted to retrieve them. Researchers caution that children don't usually splash when they are having difficulty but slip silently into the water and can drown within 30 seconds. Read this important First Aid - Emergency Care Information on drowning from the American Institute of Preventative Medicine.
CONSUMERS SHOULD QUESTION INTERNET HEALTH INFORMATION
June 1998 - Much of the health and medical information available from Internet sources may not be completely reliable, according to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. To determine the quality of information parents can access through the Internet, researchers at Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, and The Columbus Children's Hospital performed two Internet searches for information on diarrhea in children. The researchers considered a document to be in compliance if it promoted the use of oral rehydration with commercially available electrolyte solutions approved for this use. Of 60 articles published in traditional medical sources, only 12 (20 percent) conformed to these recommendations. Also of concern were recipes for rehydration solutions, unusual drug recommendations and proposed dietary restrictions. Researchers concluded that major medical institutions, schools and hospitals need to determine ways to carefully monitor and control the quality of information distributed through their home pages, and that patients should be cautioned about the misinformation available on medical topics on the Internet.
TV PROGRAMMING FOR CHILDREN UNDER 2
June 1998 - Recent new programming for children younger than age 2 has prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to reaffirm its stance that the early years are a crucial period in a child's development. According to recent research on early brain development, it is during the first three years that a child's brain can be positively influenced by environmental factors, such as interactions between parents, other adults and children. Active communication, reading, listening to music, or playing is paramount in a child's development. The AAP strongly opposes programming that targets children younger than age 2, which also may be designed to market products. For children older than age 2, the AAP recommends that total television time be limited to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day. Such programming should be developmentally based, pro-social and non-violent in nature and should reinforce language and social skills.
LARGE NUMBERS OF CHILDREN STILL SHOWING ELEVATED LEVELS OF LEAD IN THEIR BLOOD
June 1998 - Although the number of U.S. children ages 1 to 5 with elevated blood lead levels decreased from 88.2 percent between 1976 and 1980 to 4.4 percent between 1991 and 1994, nearly 900,000 children still had elevated levels of lead in their blood. A revised policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reflects this decrease but continues to stress the importance of screening for this preventable health problem. The AAP now recommends targeted blood screening for lead, however in some high-risk areas and population groups it may be necessary to screen all children. Parents can reduce their children's risk of lead exposure by learning about common sources of lead, including paint dust, and less common sources, such as water or contaminated soil. In addition, poorly maintained paint in pre-1950 housing and older homes undergoing renovations may pose lead hazard threats. Knowledge about nutrition and the importance of iron in children's diets may help decrease the likelihood of lead absorption.
Read more about Lead Poisoning from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health.
Or contact the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD.
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