As a traditionally underserved population that faces numerous health disparities, youth who identify as transgender and gender diverse (TGD) and their families are increasingly presenting to pediatric providers for education, care, and referrals. The need for more formal training, standardized treatment, and research on safety and medical outcomes often leaves providers feeling ill equipped to support and care for patients that identify as TGD and families. In this policy statement, we review relevant concepts and challenges and provide suggestions for pediatric providers that are focused on promoting the health and positive development of youth that identify as TGD while eliminating discrimination and stigma.
For many teenagers, obtaining a driver’s license is a rite of passage, conferring the ability to independently travel to school, work, or social events. However, immaturity, inexperience, and risky behavior put newly licensed teen drivers at risk. Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of mortality and injury for adolescents and young adults in developed countries. Teen drivers (15–19 years of age) have the highest rate of motor vehicle crashes among all age groups in the United States and contribute disproportionately to traffic fatalities. In addition to the deaths of teen drivers, more than half of 8- to 17-year-old children who die in car crashes are killed as passengers of drivers younger than 20 years of age. This policy statement, in which we update the previous 2006 iteration of this policy statement, is used to reflect new research on the risks faced by teen drivers and offer advice for pediatricians counseling teen drivers and their families.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe preventable birth defects and intellectual and/or developmental disabilities resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a previous clinical report in which diagnostic criteria for a child with an FASD are discussed and tools to assist pediatricians with its management can be found. This clinical report is intended to foster pediatrician awareness of approaches for screening for prenatal alcohol exposure in clinical practice, to guide management of a child with an FASD after the diagnosis is made, and to summarize available resources for FASD management.
The authors of this statement update the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics for the routine use of influenza vaccine and antiviral medications in the prevention and treatment of influenza in children. Highlights for the upcoming 2018–2019 season include the following:
1. Annual influenza immunization is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, including children and adolescents.
2. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), trivalent or quadrivalent, as the primary choice for influenza vaccination in children because the effectiveness of a live attenuated influenza vaccine against influenza A(H1N1) was inferior during past influenza seasons and is unknown for this upcoming season.
3. A live attenuated influenza vaccine may be used for children who would not otherwise receive an influenza vaccine (eg, refusal of an IIV) and for whom it is appropriate because of age (2 years of age and older) and health status (ie, healthy and without any underlying chronic medical condition).
4. All 2018–2019 seasonal influenza vaccines contain an influenza A(H1N1) vaccine strain similar to that included in the 2017–2018 seasonal vaccines. In contrast, the influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B (Victoria lineage) vaccine strains included in the 2018–2019 trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines differ from those in the 2017–2018 seasonal vaccines.
a. Trivalent vaccines contain an influenza A(Michigan/45/2015[H1N1])pdm09–like virus, an influenza A(Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016[H3N2])–like virus (updated), and an influenza B (Colorado/60/2017)–like virus (B/Victoria lineage; updated).
b. Quadrivalent vaccines contain an additional B virus (Phuket/3073/2013–like virus; B/Yamagata lineage).
5. All children with egg allergy of any severity can receive an influenza vaccine without any additional precautions beyond those recommended for all vaccines.
6. Pregnant women may receive an influenza vaccine (IIV only) at any time during pregnancy to protect themselves as well as their infants, who benefit from the transplacental transfer of antibodies. Postpartum women who did not receive vaccination during pregnancy should be encouraged to receive an influenza vaccine before discharge from the hospital. Influenza vaccination during breastfeeding is safe for mothers and their infants.
7. The vaccination of health care workers is a crucial step in preventing influenza and reducing health care–associated influenza infections because health care personnel often care for individuals at high risk for influenza-related complications.
8. Pediatricians should attempt to promptly identify their patients who are suspected of having an influenza infection for timely initiation of antiviral treatment when indicated and on the basis of shared decision-making between each pediatrician and child caregiver to reduce morbidity and mortality. Although best results are seen when a child is treated within 48 hours of symptom onset, antiviral therapy should still be considered beyond 48 hours of symptom onset in children with severe disease or those at high risk of complications (see Table 2 in the full policy statement).
We sought to determine if variations in maternal care alter DNA methylation in term, healthy, 5-month-old infants. This work was based on landmark studies in animal models demonstrating that nurturing care by dams would alter their newborns’ stress responses through epigenetic mechanisms. We used breastfeeding as a proxy for animal maternal behavior. We hypothesized alterations in DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene and less hypothalamic stress response in infants of mothers who breastfed their infants versus infants of mothers who did not breastfeed.METHODS:
A cohort study of term, healthy infants and their mothers who did (n = 21) or did not (n = 21) breastfeed for the first 5 months was used in this analysis. Cortisol stress reactivity was measured in infant saliva by using a mother-infant interaction procedure and DNA methylation of an important regulatory region of the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Changes in DNA methylation of this gene in humans were compared to homologous regions of the rat gene. DNA samples were prepared from cheek swabs and subjected to quantitative analysis of the extent of methylation by using sensitive sequencing techniques.RESULTS:
Breastfeeding was associated with decreased DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor promoter and decreased cortisol reactivity in 5-month-old infants. Decreased DNA methylation occurred in the promoter region involved in regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune system responses.CONCLUSIONS:
Maternal care in humans may impact the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress response through behavioral programming and manifest as offspring epigenetic change. These results explain, in part, some of the positive effects observed in children who are breastfed.
Little is known about the predictors of pre–emergency medical service (EMS) automated external defibrillator (AED) application in pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. We sought to determine patient- and neighborhood-level characteristics associated with pre-EMS AED application in the pediatric population.METHODS:
We reviewed prospectively collected data from the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival on pediatric patients (age >1 to ≤18 years old) who had out-of-hospital nontraumatic arrest (2013–2015).RESULTS:
A total of 1398 patients were included in this analysis (64% boys, 45% white, and median age of 11 years old). An AED was applied in 28% of the cases. Factors associated with pre-EMS AED application in univariable analyses were older age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.9; 12–18 years old vs 2–11 years old; P < .001), white versus African American race (OR: 1.4; P = .04), public location (OR: 1.9; P < .001), witnessed status (OR: 1.6; P < .001), arrests presumed to be cardiac versus respiratory etiology (OR: 1.5; P = .02) or drowning etiology (OR: 2.0; P < .001), white-populated neighborhoods (OR: 1.2 per 20% increase in white race; P = .01), neighborhood median household income (OR: 1.1 per $20 000 increase; P = .02), and neighborhood level of education (OR: 1.3 per 20% increase in high school graduates; P = .006). However, only age, witnessed status, arrest location, and arrests of presumed cardiac etiology versus drowning remained significant in the multivariable model. The overall cohort survival to hospital discharge was 19%.CONCLUSIONS:
The overall pre-EMS AED application rate in pediatric patients remains low.
African American adolescents appear to be the most at risk for asthma morbidity and mortality even compared with other minority groups, yet there are few successful interventions for this population that are used to target poorly controlled asthma.METHODS:
African American adolescents (age 12–16 years) with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma and ≥1 inpatient hospitalization or ≥2 emergency department visits in 12 months were randomly assigned to Multisystemic Therapy–Health Care or an attention control group (N = 167). Multisystemic Therapy–Health Care is a 6-month home- and community-based treatment that has been shown to improve illness management and health outcomes in high-risk adolescents by addressing the unique barriers for each individual family with cognitive behavioral interventions. The attention control condition was weekly family supportive counseling, which was also provided for 6 months in the home. The primary outcome was lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]) measured over 12 months of follow-up.RESULTS:
Linear mixed-effects models revealed that compared with adolescents in the comparison group, adolescents in the treatment group had significantly greater improvements in FEV1 secondary outcomes of adherence to controller medication, and the frequency of asthma symptoms. Adolescents in the treatment group had greater reductions in hospitalizations, but there were no differences in reductions in emergency department visits.CONCLUSIONS:
A comprehensive family- and community-based treatment significantly improved FEV1, medication adherence, asthma symptom frequency, and inpatient hospitalizations in African American adolescents with poorly controlled asthma. Further evaluation in effectiveness and implementation trials is warranted.
The expansion of growth hormone therapy over the last 3 decades has allowed for treatment of short stature for more children, resulting in increased height for many. However, treatment of idiopathic short stature remains controversial. Treatment decisions for disabled children with idiopathic short stature are even more complicated. We discuss a specific case of short stature in a disabled child and grapple with the ethical issues involved in the use of growth hormone.
Despite their medical vulnerability, youth with chronic medical conditions (YCMCs) drink at levels commensurate with healthy youth. However, information about the prevalence of alcohol use among YCMCs who take alcohol-interactive (AI) medications is scant. To address gaps and inform interventions, we quantified simultaneous exposure to alcohol use and AI medications among YCMCs, hypothesizing that AI exposure would be associated with lower alcohol consumption and mediated by perceptions of alcohol-medication interference.METHODS:
Adolescents with type 1 diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, moderate persistent asthma, cystic fibrosis, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or inflammatory bowel disease completed an electronic survey. We measured the prevalence of exposure to AI medications and the associations with past-year alcohol use as well as binge drinking and total consumption volume in the past 3 months using multivariate regression to estimate the odds of alcohol use given AI medication exposure and perceptions of interference.RESULTS:
Of 396 youth, 86.4% were on AI medications, of whom, 35.4% reported past-year alcohol use (46.3% among those who were not on AI medications). AI medication use was associated with 43% lower odds of past-year alcohol use (adjusted odds ratio: 0.57; 95% confidence interval: 0.39–0.85) and lower total consumption (β = –.43; SE = 0.11; P < .001). Perceptions of alcohol-medication interference partially mediated the relationship between AI medication exposure and past-year alcohol use (Sobel test P = .05).CONCLUSIONS:
Many YCMCs reported using alcohol; however, drinking was less likely among those who were taking AI medications. Perceptions about alcohol-medication interference mediated the association between drinking and AI medication exposure, suggesting the potential salience of interventions that emphasize alcohol-related risks.
Knowledge about how children die in pediatric hospitals is limited, and this hinders improvement in hospital-based end-of-life care.METHODS:
We conducted a retrospective chart review of all the patients who died in a children’s hospital between July 2011 and June 2014, collecting demographic and diagnostic information, hospital length of stay, location of death, and palliative care consultation. A qualitative review of provider notes and resuscitation records was used to create 5 mutually exclusive modes of death, which were then assigned to each patient. Analysis included the calculation of descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression modeling.RESULTS:
We identified 579 patients who were deceased; 61% were <1 year of age. The ICU was the most common location of death (NICU 29.7%; PICU 27.8%; cardiac ICU 16.6%). Among the 5 modes of death, the most common was the withdrawal of life-sustaining technology (40.2%), followed by nonescalation (25.6%), failed resuscitation (22.8%), code then withdrawal (6.0%), and death by neurologic criteria (5.3%). After adjustment, patients who received a palliative care consultation were less likely to experience a code death (odds ratio 0.31; 95% confidence interval 0.13–0.75), although African American patients were more likely than white patients to experience a code death (odds ratio 2.46; 95% confidence interval 1.05–5.73), mostly because of code events occurring in the first 24 hours of hospitalization.CONCLUSIONS:
Most deaths in a children’s hospital occur in ICUs after the withdrawal of life-sustaining technology. Race and palliative care involvement may influence the manner of a child’s death.
Our primary objective was to examine prevalence rates of suicide behavior across 6 gender identity groups: female; male; transgender, male to female; transgender, female to male; transgender, not exclusively male or female; and questioning. Our secondary objective was to examine variability in the associations between key sociodemographic characteristics and suicide behavior across gender identity groups.METHODS:
Data from the Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey (N = 120 617 adolescents; ages 11–19 years) were used to achieve our objectives. Data were collected over a 36-month period: June 2012 to May 2015. A dichotomized self-reported lifetime suicide attempts (never versus ever) measure was used. Prevalence statistics were compared across gender identity groups, as were the associations between sociodemographic characteristics (ie, age, parents’ highest level of education, urbanicity, sexual orientation, and race and/or ethnicity) and suicide behavior.RESULTS:
Nearly 14% of adolescents reported a previous suicide attempt; disparities by gender identity in suicide attempts were found. Female to male adolescents reported the highest rate of attempted suicide (50.8%), followed by adolescents who identified as not exclusively male or female (41.8%), male to female adolescents (29.9%), questioning adolescents (27.9%), female adolescents (17.6%), and male adolescents (9.8%). Identifying as nonheterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents except for those who did not exclusively identify as male or female (ie, nonbinary). For transgender adolescents, no other sociodemographic characteristic was associated with suicide attempts.CONCLUSIONS:
Suicide prevention efforts can be enhanced by attending to variability within transgender populations, particularly the heightened risk for female to male and nonbinary transgender adolescents.