Abstract: The prevalence of being overweight during childhood continues to increase in the USA and Canada and children living in rural areas are more at risk than their urban counterparts. The objectives of this study were to evaluate how well the parent’s perception of their child’s weight status correlated with objectively measured weight status among a group of rural children and to identify predictors of inaccurate parental perceptions of child’s weight status. Participants were children from the Saskatchewan Rural Health Study conducted in 2010. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed through rural schools to parents of children in grades one to eight. Parents reported their child’s height and weight and rated their child’s weight status (underweight, just about the right weight, or overweight). Standardized body mass index (BMI) categories were calculated for clinically measured height and weight and for parental report of height and weight for 584 children. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify predictors of misclassification of the parent’s perception of child’s weight status adjusting for potential confounders. Clinically measured overweight was much higher (26.5%) compared to parental perceived overweight (7.9%). The misclassification of the child’s BMI was more likely to occur if the child was a boy (odds ratio (OR) = 1.58) or non-Caucasian (OR = 2.03). Overweight was high in this group of rural children and parental perception of weight status underestimated the actual weight status of overweight school-age children. Parental reporting of child weight status has implications for public health policy and prevention strategies. Future research should focus on assessing longitudinal effects of parental misperceptions of child’s weight status.
Abstract: This study examined whether cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and body composition are associated with salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), a mucosal immunity marker, and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), a marker of stress-related sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, in South African children. Morning (7:30–8:00 a.m.) saliva samples were collected from 132 children (10.05 ± 1.68 years old, 74 females, 58 males). Body composition, resting blood pressure, and predicted maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) were determined, and SIgA and sAA were quantified. Obese children had significantly higher sAA compared with overweight and normal weight children (p < 0.01). SIgA secretion rate was significantly lower in obese and overweight vs. normal weight children (p < 0.01). Multiple-linear regression analysis revealed that body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (p < 0.05) were independent predictors of sAA with CRF acting as a mitigator. Age and BMI predicted SIgA secretion rate (p < 0.05) with BMI (p < 0.001) found to be an independent predictor of SIgA secretion rate. Obesity, based on BMI, was associated with elevated SNS activity and lowered mucosal immunity. CRF-mitigated sympathetic activation was not associated with mucosal immunity.
Abstract: Sleep is critical for the healthy development of children, yet most children simply don’t get enough. Whilst school based sleep education programs have been developed for parents and their children, they have had mixed success. We consider how existing school-based sleep education programs can be improved by applying a broader model to behaviour change theory. We find that the mixed success of school-based sleep education programs may be due to a plausible but misleading assumption that simply increasing information about the importance of sleep and the risks of insufficient and/or inefficient sleep, will necessarily result in improved sleep behaviours. We identify the potential benefits of using a more inclusive behavior change theory in the development of sleep education programs with a particular need for theories that incorporate the multiple biological, environmental and social impacts on children’s sleep. Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological model is presented to illustrate how one such inclusive behavior change theory could significantly improve the success of sleep education programs and ultimately support the healthy development of children.
Abstract: There has been limited empirical examination of how parent variables such as anxiety and solicitousness collectively impact child pain response. We sought to examine the relationships among maternal anxiety, solicitous parenting, and children’s laboratory anxiety and pain intensity in children with chronic pain. Participants included 80 children and adolescents (ages 8–18) with chronic pain and their mothers. Children completed questionnaires and lab pain tasks measuring their parents’ solicitous parenting, pressure, cold and heat pain anticipatory anxiety and pain intensity. Using bootstrapping analysis, maternal anxiety predicted child anticipatory anxiety and pain intensity in girls with chronic pain, which was mediated by the child’s report of parental solicitousness. For boys with chronic pain, maternal anxiety predicted boys’ anticipatory anxiety and pain intensity, with no support for mediation. This study adds to the growing literature demonstrating the impact of maternal anxiety on children’s pain. The study highlights the importance of considering parents in treatment designed to reduce children’s pain.
Abstract: The awareness of primary immunodeficiency (PID) in Malaysia is still not forthcoming. Certain practical issues such as lack of clinical immunologists and specialized laboratory diagnostic facilities remain to be addressed. However, great efforts taken by passionate clinicians and scientists in the immunology networking have ascertained some prevalence. Despite the limitation, all suspected cases of PID are being properly investigated and competently managed. In this case report we highlighted the obstacles we faced in managing PID patients, particularly preparing for bone marrow transplant. This is the first transplanted case of chronic granulomatous disease in Malaysia, which emphasizes the importance of collaborative work to ensure further morbidities or mortalities are prevented.
Abstract: The majority of behavioural sleep interventions for young children (defined as 5 years of age or less) involve extinction procedures where parents must ignore their child’s cries for a period. Many parents have difficulties implementing and maintaining these procedures, leading to attrition, non-compliance and treatment avoidance. Yet the reasons for these methods being difficult to implement for parents have not been well understood or addressed in the literature. In fact, they are being ignored. We discuss that understanding and addressing parental concerns may enable better targeted sleep interventions.