Preventative Care - ”Sick Days”
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., F.A.A.P
Why is having a “medical home” important for your child? Having one pediatric practitioner or group of practitioners see your child regularly can help identify any patterns of illness and promote a healthy lifestyle, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The AAP made its case this week through a series of policy recommendations that support the concept of the “medical home” for every child. Yesterday, I discussed the AAP’s concerns with families using retail-based clinics instead of pediatrician’s office for their child’s care. Today, I will take a look at the AAP’s recommendations for preventive care for children and off-label use of drugs in children.
In spite of spending much more on health care per patient than any other nation, the health of Americans is no longer better than other developed nations. One major reason in the opinion of organized medicine in the United States and others is that our system is reactive rather than preventive. Lifestyle issues such as obesity, lack of exercise, inappropriate nutrition and safe sex are not being emphasized to prevent illness before it occurs, and we are reacting with disorganization to illnesses with multiple medical providers not communicating with each other and no one seeing the big picture
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., F.A.A.P
Retail-based health clinics in pharmacies or big box stores may seem more convenient and less expensive compared to seeing a pediatrician, but these clinics do not provide children with the high-quality, regular preventive health care that they need, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics in an updated policy statement released online today.
Retail-based clinics or convenient care clinics are usually run by nurse practitioners or physician assistants that see patients quickly without appointments and often for less money than pediatric offices or emergency departments. This policy statement is not totally unbiased since these establishments compete with pediatricians for patients and profits, but the criticisms of these offices still has validity.
The following is a list of the AAP’s concerns and my thoughts on them:
Warren Brill, D.M.D., M.S.
Today's guest blogger is Warren Brill, D.M.D., M.S., a pediatric dentist in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry president and a national spokesperson of the AAPD, as well as an advocate for the dental health and overall well-being of children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently launched the Monster-Free Mouths Movement to underscore the vital importance of early oral care, and given February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, it’s a great time to join the Movement!
AAPD’s Monster-Free Mouths Movement aims to arm parents and caregivers with important tools and information to help fight the Mouth Monsters (tooth decay). And there is no doubt that help is needed: by age 5 nearly 60 percent of kids have had tooth decay. The rate of tooth decay in tots is alarming not only because it is on the rise, but it becomes harder to treat once it sets in, especially if at an early age. The good news is that this top chronic infectious disease among our nation’s children is nearly completely preventable. While most parents and caregivers are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing, it’s only part of the puzzle in preventing tooth decay.
Paul Reggiardo, D.D.S.
Today's guest blogger is Paul Reggiardo, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist in Huntington Beach, California. He is a national spokesperson of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and past president of the AAPD, as well as an advocate for the dental health and overall well-being of children.
Amidst open enrollment season, parents need to be aware of a significant change to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Pediatric dental benefits are now considered to be one of 10 “essential benefits” plans must provide. This means children will either have pediatric dental benefits included in a medical plan package or there will be an option to purchase these benefits separately.
On a national scale, this new provision could mean 8.7 million children currently lacking dental benefits could gain coverage through the ACA by 2018. This new accessibility to dental care has the opportunity to help curb the staggering statistics provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows that tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the U.S., affecting 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 years old.
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D., Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Do you think guns in the home make your children safer? It’s usually not the case. Last January, high school student Anthony Krueger locked himself in his room and shot himself under the chin twice after his mother called the police about his drug use. Stories like this highlight that one of the largest risk factors for teen suicide is the presence of a gun in the home.
In Krueger’s case, the 17-year-old from Dover, Del. survived, but faces a long slow recovery from his injuries . Without access to a gun, an emotional argument can lead to broken doors and objects, screaming, tears and even a fist fight, but rarely does it end in death. With a gun present, the circumstances change.
Krueger’s mother had bought the gun for protection, and allowed him access so he could “protect” his younger siblings while his mom was at work. His suicide attempt was featured in a Wilmington News Journal article earlier this month that looked at an adolescent suicide cluster in the state last year.
Anita Kulick, President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Today's guest blogger is Anita Kulick, President & CEO of Educating Communities for Parenting in Philadelphia. ECP offers a variety of programs and services for teen and adult parents, adjudicated delinquent youth, young adults aging out of the foster care system, preschoolers, and children at grave risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence.
Let’s face it, as parents we want what’s best for our children. After all, even before they’re born, we’ve been taking care of them. For nine months, we’ve eaten or not eaten the foods we should or shouldn’t; gone to prenatal check-ups; read the latest how-to books; and stocked the house with everything imaginable in the way of equipment, clothes, and toys.
So it’s no wonder that from the moment they finally arrive, we go into action doing everything possible to keep them healthy and happy. But no matter how hard we wish or how hard we try, we can’t protect them from the stresses of everyday life in the 21st century. What we can do is learn more about stress; the causes, the effects, and most important how we can help our children manage it.
Beth Wallace Smith, RD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
It’s no surprise that eating too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure as an adult. However, it may come as a surprise that the amount of sodium that children eat can affect their blood pressure even at a young age.
Earlier this year and for the first time ever, the World Health Organization made recommendations to limit the amount of sodium children consume. Depending on their age, size, and energy needs, recommendations for children ages 2-15 were a maximum of 2000 mg per day.
Why is this such a concern for young children? Believe it or not, more and more children are being diagnosed with typical “adult health conditions” at a younger age. Because the cumulative effect of high blood pressure over the years raises the risk of stroke and heart disease, decreasing the sodium intake in children at a young age may help to delay the onset of diet-related health conditions.
Anna Nguyen, Healthy Kids blog Editor
Despite the recommendation from experts, parents are increasing citing safety concerns as their reason to not vaccinate their teenage daughters against HPV, the virus that causes the most cases of cervical cancer, according to a recent study.
The study in the April issue of Pediatrics looked at vaccination rates among teens in the United States for several illnesses, including genital human papillomavirus. HPV, the most common sexually transmitted virus in the U.S., has been linked to cervical cancer, genital (anus, vagina, penis) cancers, and a type of head and neck cancer.
Researchers found a dramatic increase in the number of parents citing "Safety concerns/side effects" as their main reason for not vaccinating their daughters between 2008 and 2010. It jumped from 4.5 percent in 2008 to 16.4 percent in 2010.
- Allergies and Asthma
- Anita Kulick
- Anna Nguyen
- Beth Wallace
- Child Abuse
- Christopher C. Chang
- Colds and Flu
- Driver's Ed
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Flaura Winston
- Gary A. Emmett
- Growing Pains
- Hazel Guinto-Ocampo
- Health Hazards
- Health reform
- Infectious Diseases
- Janet Rosenzweig
- Katherine Dahlsgaard
- Lauren Falini
- Learning Curve