The American Academy of Pediatrics has called on pediatricians to exclusively use a milliliter-based dosing system, rather than telling patients/parents dosing information in teaspoons. This decision was influenced by various studies suggesting that confusion in dosage may harm patients. When given instructions in terms of teaspoons, patients often use household spoons, rather than precise measurement tools. Similarly, there is often confusion in dosage between mL and teaspoons. A different study focusing on primary care providers (PCPs) showed that 59% of PCPs said using mL alone is safer than using units such as tablespoons or teaspoons. Of these PCPs, pediatricians were most likely to say that mL-only dosing is safest. However, many primary care physicians, including many pediatricians, use both milliliters and teaspoons interchangeably when discussing dosing with patients and parents. It is therefore important to establish a standard method of dosage so as to avoid accidental overdose and harm to the patient.
(Lovegrove MC, et al. Acad Pediatr. Dec. 18, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j. acap.2017.12.002)
Danielle Lyon (Pre-Med at Northwest University) & Dr. Heugel (Pediatrician at Seahurst Pediatrics)
Autism is a developmental disorder that causes impaired social interaction and communication and can also cause other behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and anxiety. While the current method for diagnosing Autism involves questionnaires as well as clinical observation, more precision in diagnosis may be available in the future.
CNN recently reported a study conducted at the University of Warwick and the University of Bologna specifically looking at the difference in proteins between individuals with and without autism. The researchers found that children with autism had greater protein damage in blood and urine samples compared to children without. While these results may help facilitate a diagnosis of Autism in the future, researchers caution that there is still significant research to be done on the subject.
Although we may still be a ways out from a specific blood test for autism, it’s exciting to see this type of research occurring with the hopes of developing more precision around the diagnosis of Autism.
- Danielle Lyon (pre-med; Northwest University) and Dr. Heugel (pediatrician; Seahurst Pediatrics)
The new Gerber Spokesbaby is an adorable 18-month-old named Lucas Warren. Lucas has Down Syndrome, and this is the first time Gerber has selected a child with special needs from its Gerber Baby Photo Search. Hopefully Lucas will help bring increased awareness to kids with special needs in our community. Congrats Lucas and family!
This Flu season has been a particularly bad one and many children and families are being affected negatively. The virus has killed at least 37 children so far in the US and the Washington Post reported today that "health officials are predicting the pediatric death toll is likely to approach, if not exceed, the 148 deaths reported during the 2014-2015 flu season." This video by CNN Health outlines why Influenza can be so deadly and highlights its effects on children.
It's not too late to get a flu shot for your child! And, although there has been speculation on potential lower efficacy of the flu shot this season, it will still help in reducing symptoms if your child acquires flu. Also, please bring your child in for evaluation if they develop symptoms of the Flu, such as cough, fever, vomiting, muscle aches, lethargy. If caught early, Influenza infections can be treated with Tamiflu, which can greatly improve outcomes in certain situations.