Showing posts with label public health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public health. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Does Walking to School Increase Children’s Chances of Being Hit by a Vehicle?

Photo by Amanda Mills via the CDC
Increased physical activity such as walking to school is highly encouraged in study after study published in both our journal and others, but is it true that the higher the numbers of children walking to school means a higher number of possible pedestrian collisions with vehicles?

Rothman et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-2317) drive forward to answer this question by comparing a decade’s worth of  police-reported pedestrian collision data for children ages 4-12 with the proportion of uninjured children walking to school. What makes the article even more relevant is that the authors looked at the influence of the environment in which the child was walking (e.g. numbers of traffic lights, presence of school crossing guard, etc.).

You don’t have to take a crash course to absorb all the interesting findings worth reading about in this study.

Likewise—don’t stop there, but cruise on to a commentary by Drs. Gilbert Liu and Jason Mendoza (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2014-0600) who break down this study even further and offer their take on why it’s so important to continue to fund initiatives to keep kids walking to school, and to keep them as safe as possible while doing so.

So buckle up and learn more from this provocative study and commentary, which will hopefully convince you that the benefits of walking to school do outweigh the risks.

Related Reading:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tuberculosis in Young Children in the US: Is It Prevalent and Who's Getting It?

We may not see a lot of tuberculosis (TB) in this country nowadays, especially in our youngest patients, but it does exist—especially in children born to foreign-born parents or foreign-born children who come to this country. So how commonly seen is it?

Photo by Janice Carr , Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Pang et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2570) studied this topic by collecting cases of TB in children less than 5 years of age in 20 US jurisdictions and comparing them to data obtained from parental interviews and health department and TB surveillance records.

This descriptive study provides information about just who is getting TB in the country, how it’s spreading to children, and what can be done to reduce the rate of TB cases in children. Additionally, in an accompanying commentary, TB experts Drs. Jeffrey Starke and Andrea Cruz (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4139), explain the importance of this study’s findings.

Give this article and commentary some attention if you want to more accurately identify who in your practice is at risk for TB so you are better attuned to diagnosing and treating it sooner than later.

Related Reading:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Occupational Exposures to Pertussis: Coughing Up Some Concerning Data

Photo by COD Newsroom via Flickr
If we are aware of an outbreak or even an individual case of pertussis in the community in which we work, and infection prevention control guidelines have been implemented, can we still put ourselves or others at risk for developing pertussis? Unfortunately the answer is yes and more often than you might suspect based on a study by Kuncio et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0745) that we are early releasing this week.

The authors looked at data from occupational health and infection control records in a large quaternary pediatric care network from 2002 through 2011 and then looked at electronic health record data to find the pertussis cases not documented in the occupational health records. Sadly, almost half of the health care worker cases confirmed during an outbreak had no occupational health investigations despite the health care worker having been exposed to index cases of the infection. In what setting did these exposures occur and go untracked? Why weren't index cases able to better identify subsequent healthcare worker exposures?

You will not whoop with joy when you read this troubling study—but you will want to review your infection control policies when you do have an index case of pertussis to make sure steps are followed to not unnecessarily expose you or your fellow colleagues in the office, emergency room, or inpatient setting to this contagious organism.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Have MRSA on Us! A Five Year Trend Analysis

We are well aware of the prevalence of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in some of our sickest patients, but is this organism increasing or decreasing in incidence? Iwamoto et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1112) opted to look at population-based surveillance cases of MRSA from 2005-2010 in this country, further subdivided by age and race.  Almost 900 cases were identified by the authors over the time period studied with more than one-third in infants. The authors found that the majority were community-associated, with hospital-onset and healthcare-associated community-onset cases not far behind. As to concerning trends—the authors report several, including an increasing incidence in younger infants, as well as in black children.

What might be causing the increased trending in these groups along with other epidemiologic findings makes for interesting reading. You and your staff who may represent the healthcare-associated spread of this organism should make this article a must-read.