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Children

The following articles have the tag Children

Asthma link to early paracetamol use ‘debunked’

Asthma link to early paracetamol use ‘debunked’

NEW Australian evidence may put to rest concerns that early life paracetamol use predisposes infants to asthma in childhood.

Diabetes rates in pregnancy double

Diabetes rates in pregnancy double

THE number of pregnancies complicated by pre-existing diabetes has almost doubled over the past decade and the rate of gestational diabetes (GDM) is also on the rise, Australian research reveals.

Push to fund active surveillance of flu vax

EXPERTS in infectious disease and public health are pushing the federal government to fund a national active surveillance program to monitor adverse events in children who have been given seasonal influenza vaccine.

Poison most popular self-harm method

ADOLESCENT girls are more than four times more likely to intentionally self-harm than boys of similar age, and poisoning is the method of choice for both, a report shows.

‘Toxic’ energy drinks leading to problems in kids

‘Toxic’ energy drinks leading to problems in kids

THE health impact of energy drink consumption in children and teens is slipping under the radar, experts warn in calling for stricter regulation of the products.

Syringe poses Panadol overdose risk

Syringe poses Panadol overdose risk

AN UNUSUAL syringe design for Children's Panadol could put youngsters at risk of overdose by consuming an extra 30mg of paracetamol, the TGA has warned.

High rate of undiagnosed ADHD in primary schools

FIVE out of six children with ADHD have not been diagnosed by the age of eight, despite already suffering high rates of mental health comorbidities and performing well below their counterparts academically, a Melbourne study suggests.

Paracetamol in pregnancy linked to offspring behavioural problems

Paracetamol in pregnancy linked to offspring behavioural problems

CHILDREN whose mothers took paracetamol while pregnant went on to have greater difficulty with emotions, concentration and behaviour than their peers, a New Zealand study has found.

Poor diet in kids linked to depression

CHILDREN and adolescents with unhealthy eating patterns are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, a systematic review of 12 epidemiological studies has found.

Artful app to ease kids’ pain

AN INTERACTIVE app that requires children to control artwork displayed on an iPad by regulating their heart rate could help alleviate the fear of undergoing painful medical procedures.

Fluvax still being given to kids under five, despite warnings

Fluvax still being given to kids under five, despite warnings

REPORTS that some doctors are still giving Fluvax to children under five “defies belief", according to Australia's chief medical officer.

New meningococcal case sparks call to vax kids

HEALTH experts are urging parents to ensure children are vaccinated against meningococcal disease as peak season approaches, after two confirmed cases made headlines in the last week.

Meningococcal claims NSW toddler’s life

Meningococcal claims NSW toddler’s life

A TODDLER has died of invasive meningococcal disease at a hospital in regional NSW.

Fluvax report: production process changed after fevers

Fluvax report: production process changed after fevers

MORE than four years after its withdrawal for use in children under five after a spike in febrile reactions, Fluvax manufacturer bioCSL has published its adverse event findings and announced a new manufacturing process that could eventually see the vaccine being re-approved for use in young children.

Screen time increases hypertension risk in kids

Screen time increases hypertension risk in kids

CHILDREN as young as eight-years-old may be at increased risk of developing hypertension if they spend too many hours in front of a screen, research suggests.

Hair straighteners and mugs top child burns list

Hair straighteners and mugs top child burns list

ONE-YEAR-OLDS are 10 times more likely to suffer burns and scalds than children of any other age, and hair straighteners and hot mugs are the main causes, a UK study has found.

Kids devoting way too much time to digital media: experts

PARENTS should restrict kids’ tweeting and texting and keep smartphones and laptops out of bedrooms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Parents urged to limit kids' texts and tweets

Parents urged to limit kids' texts and tweets

PARENTS should restrict kids' tweeting and texting and keep smartphones and laptops out of bedrooms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Kids’ growth disorders missed

Kids’ growth disorders missed

EIGHT out of nine children with growth-related disorders are missed during routine checks in primary care with diagnosis delayed by nearly two years, a Finnish study shows.

Kids’ growth disorders missed

Kids’ growth disorders missed

EIGHT out of nine children with growth-related disorders are missed during routine checks in primary care with diagnosis delayed by nearly two years, a Finnish study shows.

Saying ta-ta to ear infections?

Saying ta-ta to ear infections?

RECURRENT middle-ear infections in children could be a thing of the past if trials of an innovative treatment succeed.

Kids with Middle-Eastern and Asian backgrounds more overweight

NSW children from Middle-Eastern and Asian backgrounds are more overweight than English-speaking children and have lower levels of physical fitness, a study has found.

Vax ban could turn doctors into ‘police’

Vax ban could turn doctors into ‘police’

BANNING unvaccinated children from school could become a “serpent’s egg” policy that becomes dangerous once hatched, with doctors and teachers forced to become “police”, a former state health minister has warned.

Vax ban could turn doctors into police

BANNING unvaccinated children from school could become a “serpent’s egg” policy that becomes dangerous once hatched, with doctors and teachers forced to become “police”, a former state health minister has warned.

Study refutes testosterone link to anger

Study refutes testosterone link to anger

A link between high testosterone levels in utero and subsequent aggressive behaviour in children has been disproved by Australian research.

Pertussis vax to protect earlier

THE timing of pertussis vaccination in infants and children has been moved forward to minimise the risk of infection, according to the latest Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Infant pertussis vaccine moved forward

Infant pertussis vaccine moved forward

THE timing of pertussis vaccination in infants and children has been moved forward to minimise infection, according to the latest Australian Immunisation Handbook released today.

Children's attraction to magnet swallowing surging

CASES of children swallowing multiple small, high-powered magnets are surging and could lead to life-threatening gastrointestinal perforation, Canadian paediatricians say.

Beware toxic renal effects of NSAIDs in kids

Beware toxic renal effects of NSAIDs in kids

THE toxic renal effects of NSAIDs in children may be underestimated, researchers warn.

Female GPs earn half as much as men

Female GPs earn half as much as men

MALE GPs earn more than double their female counterparts on average, according to new data on the gender gap in wages.

A mother’s kiss can cure all ills

A KISS from mum can be embarrassing to older kids but for toddlers it could spare them surgery.

Orthodontic technique to treat OSA in children

A ROUTINE orthodontic technique could soon be used to treat children with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), according to a dental expert.

Obesity in kids has adult sequelae

Obesity in kids has adult sequelae

CHILDREN with obesity exhibit early signs of worsening cardiometabolic health including end organ effects such as increased left ventricular mass, a meta-analysis shows.

Gut feelings should not be ignored when diagnosing: study

Gut feelings should not be ignored when diagnosing: study

A GP’s ‘gut feeling’ that something is wrong with a child should not be ignored, as it can ensure serious infection is not missed, a study shows.

BPA, obesity link? Maybe it’s just due to fat

A STUDY of American children has found an association between the ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and obesity.

Quality of life improves for childless

COUPLES with fertility problems who remain childless have a good chance of having a similar quality of life to those who manage to have kids, according to a study.

Warning on echinacea for children

The UK drugs regulator has recommended echinacea should not be given to young children due to the risk of allergic reaction.

Warning on codeine safety for children

THE US Food and Drug Administration has flagged a safety risk with the use of codeine in young children after tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy.

OTC cough medicines to have age restrictions applied

OTC cough medicines to have age restrictions applied

THE TGA has finalised its review on the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, advising restrictions in children but rejecting calls for the drugs to be up-scheduled.

Toddlers' snoring linked to behavioural problems

CHILDREN who snore are more likely to have behavioural problems than other children their age, according to a new study.

Montelukast may improve symptoms of OSA in kids

Montelukast may improve symptoms of OSA in kids

THE leukotriene receptor antagonist montelukast can decrease the severity of mild obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in children and may help them avoid surgery, doctors say.

Splitting agent 'likely cause' of Fluvax events in children

Splitting agent 'likely cause' of Fluvax events in children

IT MAY be years before CSL’s Fluvax can be used again in young children, the company said today when releasing a report showing its use of a particular viral splitting agent was likely behind the 2010 adverse events

Aussies back Disney’s junk food ad boycott

AUSTRALIAN obesity campaigners have welcomed a decision to ban junk food advertising during children’s programs on Walt Disney television networks.

World’s first artificial pancreas within the sight of researchers

RESEARCHERS are taking big strides toward development of an artificial pancreas, with results announced this week from a study in the youngest children yet and from the world’s first ambulatory trial in adults.

Aussies throw weight behind Disney's junk food ad boycott

Aussies throw weight behind Disney's junk food ad boycott

AUSTRALIAN obesity campaigners have welcomed a decision to ban junk food advertising during children’s programs on Walt Disney television networks.

Mowers and kids are not a good mix

CHILDREN should be warned about the dangers of lawnmowers and campfires, surgeons say following research indicating injuries from both are rising

Bullied children three times more likely to self-harm

CHILDREN bullied during their early years at school are up to three times more likely to self-harm than classmates when they reach adolescence, a study shows.

Bullied children more likely to self-harm

CHILDREN bullied during their early years at school are up to three times more likely to self-harm than classmates when they reach adolescence, a study shows.

Children have adverse Fluvax effects despite warnings for under-5s

Children have adverse Fluvax effects despite warnings for under-5s

ONE child has suffered a febrile convulsion and two more have reportedly experienced vomiting and diarrhoea after receiving Fluvax despite repeated warnings the vaccine is not registered for children under five years.

Good news for thong fans

THONGS, condemned as both bogan and bad for feet, may actually be healthy footwear for children for short periods, academics say.

Worrying spike in child asthma deaths

Asthma deaths in children double

ASTHMA deaths among children have more than doubled since 2006, raising concerns that parents may have become complacent about monitoring their child’s illness.

Children sexualised by ads

Children sexualised by ads: AMA demands inquiry

DOCTORS have led calls for an inquiry into what has been labelled the “premature sexualisation of children in marketing and advertising”, with the AMA arguing the practice is detrimental to child health and development.

Kids' exposure to alcohol advertising flouts guidelines

Kids' exposure to alcohol advertising flouts guidelines

AUSTRALIAN researchers have questioned children’s high level of exposure to alcohol ads on TV.

Gaming addiction may cause harm similar to drug abuse

Gaming addiction may cause harm similar to drug abuse

CITING online gaming addiction and sexting as examples, psychiatrists say they are concerned about the potential impact of the Internet, media and technology on the mental health of children.

Hyperactivity linked to sleep disorders

Hyperactivity linked to sleep disorders

SNORING and sleep apnoea in young children have been linked to the development of hyperactivity and other behavioural problems.

Instead of blaming gaming, use it as a tool to promote good health

Instead of blaming gaming, use it as a tool to promote good health

GAMING and interactive media should be capitalised on as health promotion tools rather than being avoided, experts say.

Fluvax still restricted for kids

FLUVAX is again missing from the list of seasonal influenza vaccines approved for use in children as young as six months.

Experts divided on cholesterol testing in children

NEW US guidelines recommending routine cholesterol testing for children have received a mixed reaction from both US and Australian experts.

Rise in children on protection orders

NEARLY eight out of every 1000 Australian children are now on care and protection orders, new figures show.

EIGHTY per cent of Australian children are regularly consuming carbonated soft drinks.

Health message should target supermarkets on sugary drinks

EIGHTY per cent of Australian children are regularly consuming carbonated soft drinks and other sugar-laden beverages – and they mostly do it at home, a study shows.

Medicines need to meet the toddler taste test

Medicines need to meet the toddler taste test

THE taste of an antibiotic is not often taken into account when prescribing for children, despite palatability corresponding strongly with adherence, researchers say.

Medicines need to meet the toddler taste test

THE taste of an antibiotic is not often taken into account when prescribing for children despite palatability corresponding strongly with adherence, researchers say.

Rebate cuts jeopardise GP role in child mental health

CHILDREN’S mental health visits to GPs have risen dramatically under the Better Access program and cutting the rebates would leave the profession’s role in child mental health care in doubt, new research suggests. An analysis of Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) data by the research project’s own authors also suggests GP involvement in child psychology has become less prescription-focused under Better Access as the family doctor plays a more active ongoing role in the mental health care of young Australians. The study, published in the latest Australian and New ...

Beauty pageants harmful to child's mental health

CHILDREN participating in beauty pageants are being "exploited" in ways that can be detrimental to their personal development, says the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.   THE RANZCP's Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry chair, Dr Nick Kowalenko, said the competition for a beauty prize where young girls are judged against sexualised ideals can have significant mental health and developmental consequences that impact on identity, self-esteem and body perception.   "Sexualisation is a process whereby a child's value is based on their appearance or behaviour to the exclusion of other characteristics, and ...

Infant risk from maternal HSV-1

HERPES simplex virus 1 (HSV?1) is an increasing cause of genital disease in adolescent mothers, putting their babies at risk, a Sydney researcher says. The proportion of neonatal HSV caused by HSV-1 increased by 59% in the 13 years to 2009, said Professor Cheryl Jones from the University of Sydney and the Centre for Perinatal Infection Research at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. “We’re seeing more cases due to HSV type 1 not HSV type 2, and people – GPs, specialists, communities – think that genital herpes is just HSV type 2,” she said. “What’s clear ...

Study refutes steroids risk for kids’ skin

CHILDREN may not be appropriately treated for eczema due to the “corticosteroids phobia” of parents and health professionals, a Sydney researcher warns. Clinical dermatologist Associate Professor Gayle Fischer, from the University of Sydney, showed routine long-term use of topical corticosteroids (TCS) is safe after a study of 92 children with a mean age of 3.2 years receiving treatment on body and face for around 10 months. Ninety-three per cent of patients were using a combination of topical corticosteroids classified as potent (betametha­sone dipropionate 0.05%, methylprednisolone aceponate 0.1% or mometasone furoate 0.01% ointments), moderate (betamethasone valerate 0.02% ointment) ...

Food crisis: we’re eating to death

Taskforces, preventive health agencies and bold visions – can they really change our unhealthy eating habits? Karen Percy reports.

Childhood eating disorders linked to familial psychiatric illness

NEARLY one-half of children aged under 13 years with eating disorders have a family member with a psychiatric disorder, a study suggests. The UK study, which found the incidence of eating disorders in primary school age children was around three cases per 100,000, suggested specialised services were needed for young children, the researchers said. They analysed data reported by paediatricians and psychiatrists to two paediatric surveillance systems, finding 208 cases of eating disorders over 14 months. Eating disorders increased with age, with an incidence ranging from 0.21 per 100,000 in children aged six to seven, to ...

Flu vaccine choice limited in children

STRICT guidelines will govern paediatric influenza vaccination this year, with immunisation providers advised to use only two of the six registered vaccines for children younger than 10 years. Only Influvac (Abbott) and Vaxigrip (Sanofi Pasteur) can be used in children aged under five years, the TGA said.And the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) had a “strong preference” that these trivalent seasonal flu vaccines be used up to the age of 10 years. Fluvax (CSL), linked to a ninefold higher than expected rate of febrile convulsions (one in 100) in young children in 2010, has not ...

Chemical burns on the rise in children

THE number of children hospitalised for all types of burns has almost halved in the past 26 years, but admissions for chemical burns have trebled, an Australian study shows. West Australian researchers looked at children younger than five hospitalised for burns between 1983 and 2008, showing a decline of 44%. Nearly half of the 5398 admissions were for children aged between one and two years. More than half of admissions were caused by scalding, they found. "Scald injuries caused by hot beverages continue to carry significant morbidity and are an important paediatric public health issue," ...

Five tips to keep patients hydrated

Sunshine, sweating and air-conditioning in summer, and wind and heating in winter, can cause fluid loss in children, the elderly and athletes. Here are five tips to prevent dehydration. 1. Keeping children cool in the summer months Children’s temperature regulation and sweat glands are still developing, so they are more likely to overheat.1 Kids aged 4–18 need about 1.4–1.9 litres of fluids a day depending on gender.2 Water is best, but if they are playing sport outside on a hot day, an electrolyte sports drink will provide energy, fluids, sodium and potassium which is lost through ...

Hong Kong children spot dementia in elderly

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Hong Kong are being trained to spot signs of dementia in their elderly relatives, in an innovative project that has attracted Australian attention.   The pilot program involved 43 schools in which children filled out questionnaires with their parents to identify possible dementia in elderly family members.  The survey asked about noticeable declines in the memory of elderly family members over the previous two years and if they had ever complained of losing personal belongings or accused a family member of stealing.  The survey found 17% of respondents had an elderly family member with ...

Junk food advertising regulation a step closer, paper suggests

A RECENTLY released parliamentary paper has suggested government regulation of junk food advertising that targets children may soon become a reality. The paper indicates the move away from industry self-regulation might take place “as a result of... growing public demand for intervention and a shift in health policy more towards preventive health than has been emphasised in the past”. The paper comes amid fresh calls for government regulation of junk food advertising following the release of a report examining advertisements for junk food being aired during children’s television programs. The report released last week by the ...

Steroid sprays an option for kids with obstructive sleep apnoea

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY drugs may benefit children with mild obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and provide an alternative to adenotonsillectomy, a Cochrane review suggests. Reviewers identified three small randomised controlled trials comparing intranasal fluticasone, intranasal budesonide or oral montelukast with placebo in children with mild to moderate OSA. Fluticasone and budesonide were each shown to lower the apnoea-hypopnoea index in children with OSA after six weeks of treatment. However, there was insufficient evidence to comment on the effect of the oral montelukast, the authors said. Clinical Associate Professor Dominic Fitzgerald, paediatric respiratory and sleep physician at the Children’s ...

Paracetamol link to asthma in kids remains controversial

AUSTRALIAN experts have challenged findings from a New Zealand birth cohort study linking paracetamol use with the development of asthma and atopy. In the study, children administered paracetamol before the age of 15 months were more than three times more likely to be sensitised to allergens as children who had no paracetamol, said Professor Julian Crane and colleagues from the University of Otago. Data from the study of 1400 children also showed those who took paracetamol more than 10 times between five and six years of age had double the risk of asthma compared to those not ...

Alcohol ad restrictions need tightening to protect children

AUSTRALIAN alcohol advertising restrictions appear to be inadequate with research finding three-quarters of children recognise the link between the Bundaberg Rum Bear and alcohol. The study asked 156 WA primary and secondary school children to correctly match images of eight characters used to advertise various foods and drinks with a collection of generic products. The Bundaberg Rum Bear, regularly featured in Australian alcohol television advertisements, was correctly associated with an image of a generic bottle of alcohol by 75.4% of the children. Of children aged nine to 12 years, 66.7% made the association, rising to 84.2% ...

UNICEF-Cadbury deal not so sweet

UNICEF has been hit by a wave of criticism from nutrition experts slating the organisation’s unlikely partnership with chocolate manufacturer Cadbury in Canada.  The organisation has brokered a deal with Cadbury Adams Canada in which the chocolate manufacturer provides them with C$500,000 ($A492,000) to build schools in Africa in exchange for Cadbury being allowed to feature the UNICEF logo on its packaging.  However, some health experts believe UNICEF has made a poor choice partnering with a company synonymous with producing high-calorie food targeted at children, particularly when the charity promotes nutrition for children in developing countries.  ...

Risk factor profiles of kids with obesity mirror those of adults

Obese children have similar cardiovascular and metabolic risk factor profiles to those observed in obese adults, research suggests. A longitudinal study of 7589 UK children (average age 10 years) found an incremental, linear relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and biomarkers similar to those in adults with obesity. Children with obesity had more than 10 times the risk of hypertension and three times the risk of dyslipidaemia compared to their peers in the healthy weight range.  The study also showed graded associations with biomarkers including apolipoproteins A1 and B, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein. Professor Louise Baur, from ...

ADHD in kids raises depression and suicide risk

CHILDREN aged 4-6 years with ADHD may be at increased risk of depression, dysthymia and suicide later in life, research reveals. Compared to their peers, children with ADHD had a four times greater risk of depression and three times the risk of suicidal ideation or attempts. Researchers followed two cohorts of US children with ADHD through to age 18 for the study.They found 18.4% of those with early ADHD made at least one suicide attempt compared to 5.7% of matched controls. Those with several concurrent disorders, such as depression, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder and/or conduct disorder, ...

Cochrane review

Vitamin D supplements fail to improve bone density REVIEWERS have found vitamin D supplements fail to improve bone density in healthy children with adequate vitamin D levels. The review of six randomised trials, including 1000 children and adolescents, found healthy children randomised to vitamin D supplementation for at least three months had no statistically significant improvement in bone density at the hip, lumbar spine, forearm or of the whole body compared with those given placebo. However, the authors, from the University of Tasmania, said the findings suggested children with vitamin D deficiency might derive a “clinically ...

Kids admitted more for influenza vax reactions than flu

CSL’s paediatric flu vaccine caused more hospital admissions for febrile seizures than would have eventuated from children getting the flu, researchers say. A new study shows the risk profile for Fluvax/Fluvax Junior (CSL) far exceeded the other main paediatric trivalent vaccine, Influvac (Solvay). The estimated risk of a febrile convulsion after receiving CSL’s vaccine was 0.39% compared to 0% for the Solvay product, said the researchers from the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory and the WA Communicable Disease Control Directorate. Using data from hospitalisation of children in WA, they  estimated that if the admission rate for ...

Age 30 mooted as starting point for statins in high-risk patients

THE debate on when statin therapy should be initiated in high-risk patients continues, with a US expert arguing that initiation at age 30 may be an option.   Professor Daniel Steinberg, an endocrinologist at the University of California, said statins could be initiated in patients aged 30 years who had a lifetime cardiovascular absolute risk of 35% or more. He argued the estimated 10-year Framingham risk at age 30 could be misleading because it didn’t take into account that cardiovascular risk increases progressively as patients age.   An American College of Cardiology Foundation statement said initiating ...

Child mental health targeted

Child mental health targeted

ADVOCATES for children’s mental health have launched a united front ahead of the election, kicking off a campaign to ensure children are not overlooked in the scramble for health funding. The new Children’s Mental Health Coalition is calling on all political parties to boost mental health funding for the 0-12 age group and invest seriously in early intervention and prevention strategies. The six-group coalition is also calling for the establishment of Kids Life Centres, to offer help and support to children with anxiety and behavioural problems, their parents and carers. Coalition leader Professor Louise Newman, president ...

Suspension of flu vaccination continues for under-fives

ADVICE against seasonal flu vaccination of children younger than five years of age will remain, with an extensive inquiry failing to identify a cause of this year’s spate of febrile seizures. The TGA said there were 100 confirmed cases of post-vaccination febrile convulsions in young children, including 58 from Western Australia. “CSL’s Fluvax or Fluvax Junior was used in all 66 cases where the brand of the seasonal influenza vaccine was reported,” the authority said. The Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer suspended use of trivalent seasonal vaccine in children younger than five years in late April and ...

Mental health intervention should start in childhood

AUSTRALIA could substantially reduce the burden of mental illness by doing more to protect the mental health of its children, advocates say. With 50% of mental disorders emerging before the age of 16, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is urging the Government to consider children in ongoing health reforms. Dr Phill Brock, chair of the RANZCP’s faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry, said infants and children needed specific services beyond those provided for adults. “Inpatient, sub-acute and specialised community mental health care for young people is under-funded and access to primary ...

Psychotropic drug risk in pregnancy

ANALYSIS of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in very young children has raised fresh concerns about the use of psychotropic medicines in pregnancy. Among 429 psychotropic-related ADR reports over 10 years in Danish children, one in five were in children younger than two years. Reactions included convulsion, feeding disorders, neonatal priapism, apnoea and ventricular septal defects. While some were reported explicitly as “maternal drugs affecting foetus”, many other ADRs were likely also due to mothers’ use of psychotropics as the indications for use included depression and schizophrenia, the researchers said. More than half of the ADRs ...

No cancer legacy from mums’ exposure to mobile phone towers

A MAJOR British study has found no links between cancer in young children and their mothers’ exposure to mobile phone towers during pregnancy. While concerns about living close to towers have been raised due to reported cancer clusters, no systematic epidemiological investigation of prenatal exposure has ever been undertaken, the researchers said. All registered cases of cancer in children aged up to four years in Great Britain from 1999-2001 were assessed for pregnancy exposure to the nearest mobile phone base station. The researchers, from Imperial College London, examined almost 1400 cases of cancer – including leukaemia, ...

Child injury presentations to EDs are on the rise, study shows

THE number of injured children presenting to hospital emergency departments has escalated in recent years, according to a new study. A review of Brisbane hospital data found that between 1998 and 2005 the incidence of under-13s presenting to EDs rose by 56 per cent. Low falls were the most common cause of injury across all ages. Burns and collisions were the next most common in under-5s, whereas over-5s tended to be injured from high falls, collisions and transport-related accidents. The top culprit activity was playing, which was involved in almost 40% of injuries. The ...

Flu vaccine considered safe for five year olds

FIVE-YEAR-OLD children can safely be given the seasonal influenza vaccine, but younger children should be offered Panvax, health authorities say. Chief medical officer Professor Jim Bishop last week advised that seasonal flu shots for children younger than five years would continue to be suspended following a nine-fold increase in febrile convulsions. Earlier advice was to avoid the vaccine in children “aged five years and under”, but the slight change reflected the findings of a joint investigation by the TGA and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation that the most severe adverse reactions were confined to under-fives, ...

Suspension of child flu vaccine extended

CSL has launched a voluntary recall of its remaining stock of paediatric influenza vaccine following this year’s nine-fold increase in post-vaccination febrile convulsions. Chief medical officer Jim Bishop announced yesterday that use of any trivalent seasonal vaccine in healthy children younger than five years old would remain suspended. An investigation found the rate of febrile convulsions in young children in the 24 hours after receiving Fluvax was about nine per 1000 doses whereas the expected rate was <1 per 1000 doses. “The alternative for both healthy children and those with risk factors is the swine flu ...

Check BP in children with familial hypertension

Check BP in children with familial hypertension

HYPERTENSION in children is increasingly common, researchers say, highlighting the need for blood pressure checks in children with obesity or a family history of cardiovascular disease. A US/Canadian cross-sectional study of 2000 paediatric primary care practice visits in children aged three to 20 years of age without a history of hypertension found 726 (36%) of children had elevated BP.  However, as many as 87% of cases of elevated BP were not recognised by clinicians, most likely in children with more modest BP elevations.  “Although obvious signs… may prompt providers to recognise BP elevation in children, cases ...

US Childhood Obesity to Rise

NATIONAL forecasts over the next decade show obesity rates among American children will continue to climb, while adult obesity rates will stabilise. The study, published in the journal Medical Decision Making, used a simulation model to project BMI distributions based on gender, age and race from national figures from 2000 to 2004 and 2005 to 2006. Researchers predicted that over the next decade, obesity rates would surge in children, predominantly in boys aged six to nine years.  Obesity was also expected to rise in the African American population, specifically in children aged 10 or older and ...

Bumper flu fears as GPs, patients shun vaccination

Bumper flu fears as GPs, patients shun vaccination

AUSTRALIA could face a horror flu season if an unexplained spike in paediatric adverse reactions to the seasonal flu vaccine leads GPs and the public to shun  flu jabs altogether. A crisis in confidence is already noticeable leading doctors warn, as some GPs abandon vaccination for children and adults alike, and practices are swamped with calls from concerned parents. Chief Medical Officer Jim Bishop recently ordered GPs to suspend seasonal flu vaccination of children under five. The moratorium followedreports of up to 400 cases of fever and 77 convulsions linked to the trivalent vaccine in WA and ...

Seasonal flu vaccine suspended in kids after severe reactions

The TGA will convene an expert scientific advisory panel to investigate adverse reactions to the seasonal flu vaccine following a spate of severe reactions among children in Western Australia. It was revealed yesterday that 45 children younger than five years old had presented to hospitals with high fever and in some cases febrile convulsions after vaccination. GPs Australia-wide are advised by the Federal Government to withhold the seasonal flu vaccine from all children younger than five until further notice. This advice was endorsed by the RACGP.  A spokeswoman for CSL – supplier of the seasonal flu vaccine ...

Smoking grandmothers pass down cancer risk to grandkids

A CHILD whose grandmother smoked has double the risk of childhood cancer as the grandchild of a non-smoker. This increased relative risk of cancer added to the evidence that damage from tobacco smoke might be passed down through generations of a family, researchers said. The study of 128 children with cancer and 128 matched controls was conducted in Spain by Spanish and American researchers. Exposure and use of tobacco was determined over three generations, with the smoking habits of mothers and maternal grandmothers being assessed. Sixty per cent of mothers of children with neuroblastoma were ...

Smacking tots linked to child aggression later

A NEW study links the smacking of young children to increased aggression later in childhood. Children who were frequently spanked or slapped by their mother at the age of three years tended to be more aggressive by the age of five compared to children not subjected to corporal punishment, the US study showed. Almost 2500 mothers took part in the population-based birth cohort study of children from 20 large cities. The researchers, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that almost half of the mothers interviewed reported no use of corporal punishment in the previous ...

Strong magnets causing injuries in children

THE increasing availability of very strong magnets in small sizes is proving a hazard to children, physicians warn. Reported injuries in Australia include bowel perforation following ingestion, and trauma from sensitive body parts being clamped between two magnets. Data representing a quarter of all Queensland hospital emergency departments shows 105 children required treatment following magnet ingestion or injury in the past ten years, with 70% occurring in the last five years. The report, in the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit Bulletin ( QISU Bulletin No. 109, March 2010 ), follows a case series on three Queensland children who ...

Swine flu may cause encephalopathy, experts warn

CLINICIANS should be alert to the potential neurological complications of swine flu, experts warn. Specialists from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW, have published details of two cases of severe encephalopathy in previously healthy children who were positive for H1N1. A five-year-old girl presented with hemiplegia and fever and required mechanical ventilation, anticonvulsants, oseltamivir and steroids before recovering fully. A five-year-old boy presented with ascending paralysis and fever, and was quadriplegic and comatose within 24 hours.  After treatment  with oseltamivir, immunoglobulin and steroids, he was discharged a month later with mild left arm weakness. “We ...

Children from asbestos town more likely to die of cancer

PEOPLE who lived as children in the former asbestos mining town of Wittenoom, Western Australian, have up to four times the cancer death rate of the general WA population, a new study shows. Professor Bill Musk and Associate Professor Alison Reid, from the University of Western Australia, examined 228 deaths in a cohort of 2500 people who spent the first years of their life in Wittenoom. Although the children would have had less asbestos exposure than the miners, 40 of them (17%) have died from malignant mesothelioma, Professor Musk told the annual scientific meeting of the Thoracic ...

Cough helps vax pain

IMMUNISATION pain can be overcome in children by using a simple coughing technique, according to US researchers. Asking children to do a ‘warm-up’ cough, followed by a second cough when the vaccine is injected reduced the pain of immunisation by almost half in the study. Researchers carried out the technique in 68 children aged 4-5 and 11-13 years attending for routine vaccinations under the US immunisation schedule. The cough technique reduced self-reported pain intensity by 40% on a visual analogue scale. The technique, although not successful in all children, could easily ...

Tainted milk linked to kidney disease long term

A SIGNIFICANT proportion of children exposed to melamine-contaminated dairy products during the health disaster in China last year have long-term kidney damage. Ultrasounds revealed that 12% of 7933 children investigated as part of a follow-up study into the contaminated milk scandal in 2008 had kidney abnormalities. The children were living in Shijiazhuang City and were under three years old at the time of the scandal. In September 2008, melamine-contaminated infant formula, primarily manufactured by Sanlu Infant Milk, killed six children and hospitalised 50,000 additional children. The company had intentionally added melamine, commonly used ...

Call for kids’ food marketing code

AN internationally agreed code on marketing food to children would assist efforts to prevent childhood obesity, a leading Australian researcher says. Professor Boyd Swinburn, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Melbourne, said international codes for controlling tobacco and marketing baby formula might be suitable models. Despite a decade of efforts to prevent obesity, advocates were “still virtually at the starting line”, he said, adding it took more than 50 years to rein in cigarette marketing. In a commentary, Professor Swinburn warned obesity prevention was underfunded compared to other health problems. “The ...

Improvements needed for kids' palliative care

AUSTRALIAN children with cancer are more likely to die peacefully at home and receive fewer aggressive interventions than those in other countries, new research has found. Sixty-one per cent of patients treated at the Children’s Cancer Centre in Melbourne, the largest specialist paediatric oncology centre in Australia, died at home, compared to 49% in the US and just 29% in Japan. However, the study did highlight some areas for improvement, with 84% of children reported to be suffering “a lot” or “a great deal” during the last month of life. While the authors believed the findings ...

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