Abstract: Emeritus Professor A. J. “Tony” McMichael (1942–2014) was an internationally renowned and pioneering Australian academic and advocate in epidemiology, who was passionate about understanding the influences of the environment on human health. In an illustrious career spanning more than four decades, he made significant contributions to the scientific community and policy discourse—including ground-breaking research related to the health of children. McMichael was a prolific academic writer with over 300 peer-reviewed papers; 160 book chapters and two sole-authored books. However, his outstanding talent was for integrating complex and seemingly unrelated strands from the environmental and health sciences into a cohesive narrative—and highlighting its relevance to lay persons, scientists and governments alike. He was instrumental in validating this nascent field of research and inspiring many others to follow his lead.
Abstract: Birth Asphyxia is considered to be one of the leading causes of neonatal mortality around the world. Asphyxiated neonates require skilled resuscitation to survive the neonatal period. The project aims to train health professionals in a basic newborn care using a prototype with an ultimate objective to have one person at every delivery trained in neonatal resuscitation. This prototype will be a user-friendly device with which one can get trained in performing neonatal resuscitation in resource-limited settings. The prototype consists of a Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) that measures the pressure applied and is interfaced with Arduino® which controls the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) indication for pressure and compression counts. With the increase in population and absence of proper medical care, the need for neonatal resuscitation program is not well addressed. The proposed work aims at offering a promising solution for training health care individuals on resuscitating newborn babies under low resource settings.
Abstract: Integrative Therapies (IT), otherwise known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine, are widely used among pediatric oncology patients, despite a paucity of available evidence. This review summarizes surveys that describe the prevalence of IT use by pediatric oncology patients, both during therapy and in survivorship, as well as the modalities being used. Additionally, the evidence that exists for specific treatments that appear to be efficacious in controlling specific symptoms is described. Finally, there are recommendations for practitioners on how to best counsel patients about IT use.
Abstract: The human immune system is an interface across which many climate change sensitive exposures can affect health outcomes. Gaining an understanding of the range of potential effects that climate change could have on immune function will be of considerable importance, particularly for child health, but has, as yet, received minimal research attention. We postulate several mechanisms whereby climate change sensitive exposures and conditions will subtly impair aspects of the human immune response, thereby altering the distribution of vulnerability within populations—particularly for children—to infection and disease. Key climate change-sensitive pathways include under-nutrition, psychological stress and exposure to ambient ultraviolet radiation, with effects on susceptibility to infection, allergy and autoimmune diseases. Other climate change sensitive exposures may also be important and interact, either additively or synergistically, to alter health risks. Conducting directed research in this area is imperative as the potential public health implications of climate change-induced weakening of the immune system at both individual and population levels are profound. This is particularly relevant for the already vulnerable children of the developing world, who will bear a disproportionate burden of future adverse environmental and geopolitical consequences of climate change.
Abstract: Children who experience early life toxic stress are at risk of long-term adverse health effects that may not manifest until adulthood. This article briefly summarizes the findings in recent studies on toxic stress and childhood adversity following the publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Report on the effects of toxic stress. A review of toxic stress and its effects is described, including factors of vulnerability, resilience, and the relaxation response. An integrative approach to the prevention and treatment of toxic stress necessitates individual, community and national focus.
Abstract: A serious illness, a chronic medical condition or a hospital bed should not deny any child her/his basic right to play, a right essential for children’s development and general wellbeing. In fact, it is in these frightening and anxious moments that play and the stimulus that it provides can help the most. This article will focus on the impacts and benefits of professional hospital clowning for the wellbeing and recovery process of ill and hospitalized children. Our experience has shown that through interactive play and humor, “clowndoctors” can create an enabling and supportive environment that facilitates children’s adaptation to the hospital setting and improves their acceptance of medical procedures and staff. While moving from bedside to bedside, RED NOSES clowndoctors encourage children’s active participation and support their natural instinct to play, fully including them in the interaction, if the children wish to do so. Therefore, clowndoctor performances offer ill children much needed stimulus, self-confidence and courage, elements fundamental to reducing their vulnerability. In this piece, a special emphasis will be put on the various approaches used by RED NOSES clowndoctors to bond and reach out to children suffering from different medical conditions.