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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.
AAP SAYS CHILDREN WITH HIV SHOULD BE TOLD OF THEIR ILLNESS
In a new policy stated, the AAP strongly encourages parents who have
school age children and teens with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
infection to tell those children the truth about their illness.
Many children with HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are
surviving to middle childhood and adolescence, according to the policy.
By the end of 1997 in the United States, there were more than 8,000 reported cases of AIDS in children under age 13, and more than 3,000 teens with AIDS.
Parents may think they are protecting their children and themselves, by keeping the illness a secret. But studies suggest that children who know their HIV status have higher self-esteem than children who are sick and do not know why. Also, studies show that parents who have disclosed the status to their children experience less depression than those who do not.
The AAP recommendations concerning disclosure of HIV include:
The policy also says that pediatricians need to inform parents that if older children question them about their HIV infection status, they will answer direct questions truthfully.
- Disclosure of the diagnosis to an HIV-infected child should be individualized to include the child's cognitive ability, developmental stage, clinical status and social circumstances.
- In general, younger children who have HIV symptoms are most interested in learning what will happen to them in the immediate future. they do not need to be informed about their diagnosis, but their illness should be discussed with them. School-age children and teens are usually able to handle more complete information, those with symptoms or requiring hospitalization should be informed of their HIV status.
- Adolescents should know their HIV status so they can understand the
consequences for many aspects of their health, including sexual activity.
- Pediatricians should help parents determine the best way to disclose
information to the child.
ARTICLE UNDERSCORES MEDIA IMPACT ON CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Television and other media represent one of the most important and
under recognized influences on child and adolescent health.
- Young people view an estimated 10,000 violent acts each year. A recent National television Violence Study examined nearly 10,000 hours of television programming over a three year period and found that 61% contained violence, with children's programming being the most violent.
- Each year, teenagers view nearly 15,000 sexual references, innuendoes, and jokes of which less than 170 will deal with abstinence, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy.
- Alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs are present in 70 percent of prime time network dramatic programs, 38 out of 40 top-grossing movies, and half of all music videos.
- For every "just say no" or "know when to say when" public service announcement, teens will view 25 to 50 beer and wine advertisements. Tobacco manufacturers spend $6 billion per year, and alcohol manufacturers $2 billion per year in all media, trying to entice young people into "just saying yes".
CHILDREN WITH STREP THROAT BENEFIT FROM ONCE DAILY THERAPY WITH AMOXICILLIN
Children may benefit from an old drug given in a new way according to
a new study. Amoxicillin (750mg) administered once a day is as effective
as the traditional penicillin (250 mg) therapy delivered three times a day
for children with streptococcal pharyngitis (a type of illness commonly
called strep throat).
STUDY REPORTS ON VOLUNTARY USE OF "RAPE DRUG"
A new study reports that voluntary use of the drug flunitrazepam,
also known as "rophies, R-2 or roaches," is becoming a health concern among some young women.
The popularity of flunitrazepam has increased recently. The drug causes a euphoric, drunken-like high and is often taken with alcohol or other drugs because it heightens their effects. Such combinations can lead to breathing problems and even death.
It is difficult to speculate whether the use of flunitrazepam is a
passing fad or will become an epidemic. To decrease the likelihood
of this drug becoming even more popular among young people, it is critical
to alert potential users to its danger.
PARENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF NON-FOOD SOURCES OF SALMONELLA
In children infected with Salmonella, the home environment is often more to blame than are contaminated foods. Studies showed that locations found in homes included dirt surrounding front doors, household members, vacuum cleaners, animals/pets/insects, and refrigerator shelves. Out of 120 food samples taken from homes in which children had been infected with Salmonella, only one piece of cheese harbored Salmonella. Researchers conclude that parents should be educated about the environmental spread of Salmonella, particularly to infants and young children.
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