On ABC News, Carolyn Certo Gnerre, MD, a third-year psychiatry resident, writes that “the changing attitudes and loosening of legal barriers” with regard to marijuana “raise a question for parents: What should they tell their children about marijuana use and its possible risks?” A new Yahoo-Marist poll indicates that “most people are more concerned about their children having sex or smoking cigarettes than smoking marijuana.” The piece adds, “The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a few helpful talking points on how marijuana can affect growing teens.” The AAP “also recommends that parents be honest but brief about their drug-use history when discussing marijuana with their” kids.
Please note that our phone system will be down intermittently for routine maintenance on 4/18/2017 between 5:00pm to 8:00pm. If you have an urgent situation, you can reach the after hours advice nurse directly by calling (510) 486-8344. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The experimental vaccine developed by researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is now moving into its second phase of testing and will include more than 2,000 volunteers from the US and other countries. Funding for the $100 million clinical trial has been secured despite the proposed $7 billion cuts from the budget of the NIH, according to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Click here for the full article on Reuters.
Mylan is recalling certain lot numbers of EpiPen and EpiPen JR. Please check your device at home and at school. The lot number is on the packaging with the expiration date. Compare with the chart on the Mylan website or the FDA website. If your device lot number matches one on the list, Mylan will replace the device. Go to www.mylan.com/EpiPenRecall for more details.
April is National Autism Awareness Month! Autism is a condition marked by differences in social interaction and communication that affects up to 1 in 68 children. Early signs include:
CDC, Learn the Signs: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/index.html
Autism Speaks, Support and Advocacy Group:
Autism Society, A Grassroots Organization:
Here is an excellent resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics for more information on nutrition needs from infancy to adolescence, including how to interest picky eaters in new foods, the additional considerations for young athletes, answers to common food allergy questions, and more. Check it out at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition.
After President Trump's executive order on 3/28, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued the following statement.
by: Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
"The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the Executive Order issued today that rolls back critical protections for children's health. The Order would stop all work to defend the Clean Power Plan, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule limiting carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. These power plants generate approximately one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, a leading contributor to climate change. Without this rule in place, our children, who are uniquely vulnerable to changes in the environment, will disproportionately bear the burden of dirty air, increased incidence of vector-borne illnesses, increased natural disasters, heat-induced illness and death.
"According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of the current health burden resulting from the changing climate occurs in children younger than five years old. Children breathe faster than adults, spend more time outside and have lungs that are still developing, meaning any environmental changes will have a more significant impact. For children who suffer from asthma, poor air quality can turn outdoor activity into a real risk to their health.
"As pediatricians, we know it is impossible to separate the status of our environment from its impact on our patients' health. The Clean Power Plan took significant steps forward for children by addressing the public health issue of climate change and by helping to improve air quality. Clean air should not be a luxury, and it should not be determined by ZIP code. We urge President Trump and his administration to support policies that ensure a safe environment for children and families across the country, rather than those that undo the gains we've made."
Below is a press statement was released on Friday 3/24 after the AHCA did not pass the House of Representatives.
By Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics
"Following the failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the American Academy of Pediatrics urges our federal leaders to start over and instead consider health care reform proposals that will move children's health care coverage forward, not backward.
"In the pages of local newspapers, in Capitol Hill offices and at press events across the country, pediatricians have been voicing our opposition to the AHCA and the detrimental impact it would have on children and families. Our voices were heard and the AHCA did not advance, but our work is far from over.
"The rate of children's health coverage in our country is at a historic high of 95%, and any new health care policies must build on this progress, not tear it down. Nearly 36 million children receive Medicaid coverage, including children with special health care needs and those from low-income families. Though Medicaid is an entitlement program, it is also an empowerment program, allowing families to hold down jobs while caring for ill children, pregnant women to access vital services to ensure she and her baby stay healthy, and providing critical supports for people with disabilities so they can live independently. Any proposal to dismantle Medicaid would have devastating, multi-generational effects on children and families, and it has no place in any future proposal considered by Congress.
"Children are our future, and their future depends on a strong Medicaid program. Pediatricians stand ready to work with Congress and the administration on any future efforts to reform health care, with one condition: that such policies keep Medicaid strong and put children first."
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association have sent letters to Congress expressing their opposition to the Republicans' proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Changes to Medicaid under the measure, such as per-capita caps and the shift from an entitlement program to block grants, could reduce the quality of care for Medicaid recipients and reverse progress in health insurance coverage for youths, the AAP said in its letter which was sent earlier this week to House of Representatives leadership.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) opposes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal reported in the media that would separate immigrant mothers from their children when they arrive at the U.S. border. Read the full statement here.
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Richard Oken, MD, FAAP