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The Informed Parent

What’s Up Doc?

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Jul. 05, 2010
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The authors of the article “Prevalence of Parent-Reported Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children in the US, 2007” by Michael D. Kogan, PhD, et.al, appeared in PEDIATRICS, Nov. 2009, p. 1395. It presented explanations for why the diagnosis of autism has been more prevalent in past decades. They suggest that more inclusive surveys, increased population awareness, and improved screening and identification by providers may partly explain the increase in this diagnosis.

Speaking for myself, the focus on early diagnosis of autism by enhanced education of pediatricians has contributed greatly to the overall number of diagnoses made. I think in the past high functioning autistic children may have been missed. It appears that the number of effected children may be the same, but diagnoses have increased because of medical provider awareness.

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The small turtle is still spreading Salmonella, Julie R. Harris, PhD, et al, states in her article “Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Associated with Small Turtle Exposure, 2007 - 2008. This article appeared in PEDIATRICS, Nov. 2009, p. 1388.

This has been reported before, but parents seem to forget. Our children do not need to be exposed to this enteric infector.

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Here is another subject we should all know, but it always bears repeating in case, as parents, we sometimes forget. Wei Du, PhD, et al, in their article “Relative Benefits of Population-Level Interventions Targeting Restraint-Use in Child Car Passengers” appeared in PEDIATRICS Feb. 2010, p. 304. It clearly points out that we must never fail to use child passenger restraints, but we must use the correct age-appropriate system for child care passengers.

It is with great sadness that children are still seen in cars improperly restrained. The number of lives saved by these systems is gigantic. Careless and negligent parental practices of not using them can never be condoned.

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Julie A. Boom, M.D., et al and Florence T. Wang, ScD, et al have documented the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine. Their abstracts appeared in the section ONLINE ARTICLES, in PEDICATRICS, Feb. 2010, p. 368 and 369.

Once again, the value of vaccines is supported. I cannot imagine where we would be without vaccines. Disease after disease, from polio to bacterial meningitis have been controlled by their specific immunizing products. Neglecting to immunize an infant borders on child abuse.

Medical research is an ongoing force in maintaining excellent care for our children. Research is a main function of all Children’s Hospitals. When you have a chance, support your Children’s Hospital so that the staff can continue this necessary clinical research that directly effects your offspring’s health.




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