Advocacy for Improving Nutrition in the First 1000 Days to Support Childhood Development and Adult Health
Maternal prenatal nutrition and the child's nutrition in the first 2 years of life (1000 days) are crucial factors in a child’s neurodevelopment and lifelong mental health. Child and adult health risks, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, may be programmed by nutritional status during this period. Calories are essential for growth of both fetus and child but are not sufficient for normal brain development. Although all nutrients are necessary for brain growth, key nutrients that support neurodevelopment include protein; zinc; iron; choline; folate; iodine; vitamins A, D, B6, and B12; and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Failure to provide key nutrients during this critical period of brain development may result in lifelong deficits in brain function despite subsequent nutrient repletion. Understanding the complex interplay of micro- and macronutrients and neurodevelopment is key to moving beyond simply recommending a "good diet" to optimizing nutrient delivery for the developing child. Leaders in pediatric health and policy makers must be aware of this research given its implications for public policy at the federal and state level. Pediatricians should refer to existing services for nutrition support for pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and toddlers. Finally, all providers caring for children can advocate for healthy diets for mothers, infants, and young children in the first 1000 days. Prioritizing public policies that ensure the provision of adequate nutrients and healthy eating during this crucial time would ensure that all children have an early foundation for optimal neurodevelopment, a key factor in long-term health.
Ensuring optimal health for children requires a population-based approach and collaboration between pediatrics and public health. The prevention of major threats to children’s health (such as behavioral health issues) and the control and management of chronic diseases, obesity, injury, communicable diseases, and other problems cannot be managed solely in the pediatric office. The integration of clinical practice with public health actions is necessary for multiple levels of disease prevention that involve the child, family, and community. Although pediatricians and public health professionals interact frequently to the benefit of children and their families, increased integration of the 2 disciplines is critical to improving child health at the individual and population levels. Effective collaboration is necessary to ensure that population health activities include children and that the child health priorities of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), such as poverty and child health, early brain and child development, obesity, and mental health, can engage federal, state, and local public health initiatives. In this policy statement, we build on the 2013 AAP Policy Statement on community pediatrics by identifying specific opportunities for collaboration between pediatricians and public health professionals that are likely to improve the health of children in communities. In the statement, we provide recommendations for pediatricians, public health professionals, and the AAP and its chapters.
Granuloma gluteale infantum is a rare nodular complication of irritant diaper dermatitis. The association of this condition with the widespread use of nondisposable cloth diapers has been increasingly recognized. We present the case of an 18-month-old girl with granuloma gluteale infantum. Our aims are to emphasize the importance of clinical recognition of this re-emerging complication of diaper dermatitis and to point out the potential role of topical calcineurin inhibitors as a treatment option.
Nocardiosis is a rare cause of infection that usually affects immunocompromised adult patients and might not be recognized by pediatricians. We report a fatal case of disseminated nocardiosis in a previously healthy child initially admitted for an abdominal mass with suspicion of a renal malignant tumor. The patient, originating from Mali without any medical history, displayed abdominal pain with progressive altered general status. Laboratory and imaging findings revealed lymphocytic meningitis and disseminated abscesses in the brain and the cerebellum and a large number of cystic lesions of the kidney. Despite being administered wide-spectrum antibiotics and antituberculous and antifungal therapies with an external ventricular drainage for intracranial hypertension, the patient died 6 days after his admission. Nocardia spp was cultured from a renal biopsy and the cerebrospinal fluid. Species identification and antibiotic susceptibility were obtained later, revealing a multidrug-resistant isolate of the Nocardia elegans/aobensis/africana complex. This case reveals the difficulties of diagnosing nocardiosis, in particular in children not known to be immunocompromised, because we face multiple differential diagnoses and the importance of treating nocardiosis appropriately because of intrinsic resistance issues.
Paracetamol (acetaminophen or N-acetyl-p-aminophenol) is considered a safe analgesic and antipyretic nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug commonly used during pediatric ages and during pregnancy. We report on a term neonate with closed ductus arteriosus, severe cardiomyopathy, right ventricular dysfunction, and functional stenosis of pulmonary arteries at birth after maternal self-medication with paracetamol and consumption of polyphenol-rich foods in late pregnancy. This drug, especially when associated with other vasoconstrictors (such as polyphenols), interferes with prostaglandin metabolism, which seriously accentuates the intrauterine ductus arteriosus constriction and leads to pharmacologic adverse events. We suggest maternal educational programs to avoid risky self-medications and provide training for the best diets.
To estimate the baseline prevalence and risk factors for microcephaly at birth before the Zika virus epidemic in 2 Brazilian cities.METHODS:
We used population-based data from the Brazilian Ribeirão Preto (RP) and São Luís (SL) birth cohort studies of 2010 that included hospital deliveries by resident mothers. The final sample was 7376 live births in RP and 4220 in SL. Gestational age was based on the date of the mother’s last normal menstrual period or obstetric ultrasonography, if available. Microcephaly at birth was classified according to the criteria of the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century and the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Risk factors for microcephaly, proportionate and disproportionate microcephaly, and severe microcephaly were estimated in a hierarchized logistic regression model.RESULTS:
According to the International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century definition, the prevalence of microcephaly (>2 SDs below the mean for gestational age and sex) was higher in SL (3.5%) than in RP (2.5%). The prevalence of severe microcephaly (>3 SDs below the mean) was higher in SL (0.7%) than in RP (0.5%). Low maternal schooling, living in consensual union or without a companion, maternal smoking during pregnancy, primiparity, vaginal delivery, and intrauterine growth restriction were consistently associated with microcephaly. The number of cases of microcephaly is grossly underestimated, with an underreporting rate of ~90%.CONCLUSIONS:
The prevalence of severe microcephaly was much higher than expected in both cities. Our findings suggest that microcephaly was endemic in both municipalities before the circulation of the Zika virus.
To assess whether preterm infants with postnatal cytomegalovirus infection develop neurologic sequelae in early childhood.METHODS:
Infants <32 weeks’ gestation were prospectively screened for cytomegalovirus (CMV) at term-equivalent age. Neurodevelopment was compared between CMV-positive and CMV-negative infants by using the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS) at 16 months’ corrected age (CA); the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition or the GMDS at 24 to 30 months’ CA; and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition and Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition at 6 years of age. At 6 years old, hearing was assessed in CMV-positive children.RESULTS:
Neurodevelopment was assessed in 356 infants at 16 months’ CA, of whom 49 (14%) were infected and 307 (86%) were noninfected. Infected infants performed significantly better on the GMDS locomotor scale. There were no differences at 24 to 30 months’ CA on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition or GMDS. At 6 years of age, infected children scored lower on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition, but mean scores were within normal range, reaching significance only in verbal IQ (96 [SD 17] vs 103 [SD 15] points; P = .046). Multiple regression indicated no impact of CMV status but significant influence of maternal education and ethnicity on verbal IQ. No significant differences in motor development were found and none of the infected children developed sensorineural hearing loss.CONCLUSIONS:
In this cohort study, postnatal cytomegalovirus infection in preterm children did not have an adverse effect on neurodevelopment within the first 6 years of life.
There is high variation in the care of acute viral bronchiolitis. We sought to promote collaboration between emergency department (ED) and inpatient (IP) units with the goal of reducing unnecessary testing and treatment.METHODS:
Multisite collaborative with improvement teams co-led by ED and IP physicians and a 1-year period of active participation. The intervention consisted of a multicomponent change package, regular webinars, and optional coaching. Data were collected by chart review for December 2014 through March 2015 (baseline) and December 2015 to March 2016 (improvement period). Patients <24 months of age with a primary diagnosis of bronchiolitis and without ICU admission, prematurity, or chronic lung or heart disease were eligible for inclusion. Control charts were used to detect improvement. Achievable benchmarks of care were calculated for each measure.RESULTS:
Thirty-five hospitals with 5078 ED patients and 4389 IPs participated. Use of bronchodilators demonstrated special cause for the ED (mean centerline shift: 37.1%–24.5%, benchmark 5.8%) and IP (28.4%–17.7%, benchmark 9.1%). Project mean ED viral testing decreased from 42.6% to 25.4% after revealing special cause with a 3.9% benchmark, whereas chest radiography (30.9%), antibiotic use (6.2%), and steroid use (7.6%) in the ED units did not change. IP steroid use decreased from 7.2% to 4.0% after special cause with 0.0% as the benchmark. Within-site ED and IP performance was modestly correlated.CONCLUSIONS:
Collaboration between ED and IP units was associated with a decreased use of unnecessary tests and therapies in bronchiolitis; top performers used few unnecessary tests or treatments.
The association between acid-suppressive drug exposure during pregnancy and childhood asthma has not been well established.OBJECTIVE:
To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on this association to provide further justification for the current studies.DATA SOURCES:
We searched PubMed, Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EBSCO Information Services, Web of Science, and Google Scholar from inception until June 2017.STUDY SELECTION:
Observational studies in which researchers assessed acid-suppressive drug use during pregnancy and the risk of childhood asthma were included.DATA EXTRACTION:
Of 556 screened articles, 8 population-based studies were included in the final analyses.RESULTS:
When all the studies were pooled, acid-suppressive drug use in pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma in childhood (relative risk [RR] = 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.35–1.56; I2 = 0%; P < .00001). The overall risk of asthma in childhood increased among proton pump inhibitor users (RR = 1.34; 95% CI 1.18–1.52; I2 = 46%; P < .00001) and histamine-2 receptor antagonist users (RR = 1.57; 95% CI 1.46–1.69; I2 = 0%; P < .00001).LIMITATIONS:
None of the researchers in the studies in this meta-analysis adjusted for the full panel of known confounders in these associations.CONCLUSIONS:
The evidence suggests that prenatal, maternal, acid-suppressive drug use is associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma. This information may help clinicians and parents to use caution when deciding whether to take acid-suppressing drugs during pregnancy because of the risk of asthma in offspring.
Young children living in historically marginalized families are at risk for becoming adolescents with obesity and subsequently adults with increased obesity-related morbidities. These risks are particularly acute for Hispanic children. We hypothesized that the prevention-focused, socioecological approach of the "Minding the Baby" (MTB) home visiting program might decrease the rate of childhood overweight and obesity early in life.METHODS:
This study is a prospective longitudinal cohort study in which we include data collected during 2 phases of the MTB randomized controlled trial. First-time, young mothers who lived in medically underserved communities were invited to participate in the MTB program. Data were collected on demographics, maternal mental health, and anthropometrics of 158 children from birth to 2 years.RESULTS:
More children in the intervention group had a healthy BMI at 2 years. The rate of obesity was significantly higher (P < .01) in the control group (19.7%) compared with the intervention group (3.3%) at this age. Among Hispanic families, children in the MTB intervention were less likely to have overweight or obesity (odds ratio = 0.32; 95% confidence interval: 0.13–0.78).CONCLUSIONS:
Using the MTB program, we significantly lowered the rate of obesity among 2-year-old children living in low-socioeconomic-status communities. In addition, children of Hispanic mothers were less likely to have overweight or obesity at 2 years. Given the high and disproportionate national prevalence of Hispanic young children with overweight and obesity and the increased costs of obesity-related morbidities, these findings have important clinical, research, and policy implications.
Voluntary active euthanasia for adults at their explicit request has been legal in Belgium and the Netherlands since 2002. In those countries, acceptance of the practice for adults has been followed by acceptance of the practice for children. Opponents of euthanasia see this as a dangerous slippery slope. Proponents argue that euthanasia is sometimes ethically appropriate for minors and that, with proper safeguards, it should be legally available in appropriate circumstances for patients at any age. In this Ethics Rounds, we asked philosophers from the United States and the Netherlands, and a Dutch pediatrician, to discuss the ethics of legalizing euthanasia for children.