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Children, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2023) – 153 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The transmission of syphilis from a mother to her fetus at any point during pregnancy or childbirth results in still births, preterm birth, or congenital syphilis in the newborn. Despite the efficacy of intramuscular penicillin injection treatment for maternal perinatal syphilis, the number of reported congenital syphilis infections continues to increase globally. The rise in congenital syphilis is of great public concern as it can cause pneumonia, “snuffles” or excessive nasal discharge, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, hyperbilirubinemia, cholestasis, maculopapular, and desquamating rash that can involve the palms and soles. This global public health issue highlights discrepancies in the current public health infrastructure related to testing, treating, and managing perinatal syphilis infection during pregnancy. View this paper
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15 pages, 1873 KiB  
Systematic Review
Exercise Capacity in Very Low Birth Weight Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Grace Poole, Christopher Harris and Anne Greenough
Children 2023, 10(8), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081427 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
There is an association between very low birth weight (VLBW) and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adulthood. Aerobic fitness, measured as the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), is a good indicator of cardiopulmonary health and predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Our aim was [...] Read more.
There is an association between very low birth weight (VLBW) and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adulthood. Aerobic fitness, measured as the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), is a good indicator of cardiopulmonary health and predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Our aim was to determine the effect of birth weight on aerobic exercise capacity and physical activity. We systematically identified studies reporting exercise capacity (VO2 max and VO2 peak) and physical activity levels in participants born at VLBW aged eighteen years or older compared to term-born controls from six databases (MEDLINE, OVID, EMBASE, CI NAHL, CENTRAL, and Google Scholar). Meta-analysis of eligible studies was conducted using a random effect model. We screened 6202 articles and identified 15 relevant studies, 10 of which were eligible for meta-analysis. VLBW participants had a lower VO2 max compared to their term counterparts (−3.35, 95% CI: −5.23 to −1.47, p = 0.0005), as did VLBW adults who had developed bronchopulmonary dysplasia (−6.08, 95% CI −11.26 to −0.90, p = 0.02). Five of nine studies reported significantly reduced self-reported physical activity levels. Our systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated reduced maximal aerobic exercise capacity in adults born at VLBW compared to term-born controls. Full article
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13 pages, 1578 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Intricate Links between Adenotonsillar Hypertrophy, Mouth Breathing, and Craniofacial Development in Children with Sleep-Disordered Breathing: Unraveling the Vicious Cycle
by Luana Nosetti, Marco Zaffanello, Francesca De Bernardi di Valserra, Daniela Simoncini, Giulio Beretta, Pietro Guacci, Giorgio Piacentini and Massimo Agosti
Children 2023, 10(8), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081426 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2195
Abstract
Adenotonsillar hypertrophy has been well-acknowledged as the primary instigator of sleep-disordered breathing in the pediatric population. This condition spans a spectrum, from typical age-related growth that the immune system influences to persistent pathological hypertrophy. Reduction in air spaces, metabolic changes, neurobehavioral alterations, and [...] Read more.
Adenotonsillar hypertrophy has been well-acknowledged as the primary instigator of sleep-disordered breathing in the pediatric population. This condition spans a spectrum, from typical age-related growth that the immune system influences to persistent pathological hypertrophy. Reduction in air spaces, metabolic changes, neurobehavioral alterations, and chronic inflammation characterizes the latter form. As the go-to treatment, adenotonsillectomy has proven effective. However, it is not a guarantee for all patients, leaving us without reliable predictors of treatment success. Evidence suggests a connection between adenotonsillar hypertrophy and specific oral breathing patterns resulting from craniofacial development. This finding implies an intricate interdependence between the two, hinting at a self-sustaining vicious cycle that persists without proper intervention. The theories regarding the relationship between craniofacial conformation and sleep-disordered breathing have given rise to intriguing perspectives. In particular, the “gracilization theory” and the “gravitational hypothesis” have provided fascinating insights into the complex interaction between craniofacial conformation and SDB. Further investigation is crucial to unraveling the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms behind this relationship. It is also vital to explore the risk factors linked to adenotonsillectomy failure, study the long-term effects of adenotonsillar hypertrophy on craniofacial growth, and devise innovative diagnostic techniques to detect upper airway compromise early. Moreover, to assess their efficacy, we must delve into novel therapeutic approaches for cases that do not respond to traditional treatment, including positional therapy and orofacial myofunctional therapy. Though complex and unpredictable, these challenges promise to enhance our understanding and treatment of adenotonsillar hypertrophy and its related complications in children. By taking on this task, we can pave the way for more effective and targeted interventions, ultimately improving affected individuals’ well-being and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sleep Respiratory Disorders in Children and Adolescents)
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18 pages, 1242 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Use of Eye-Tracking Technology in Pediatric Orofacial Clefts: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Ghalia Y. Bhadila and Dana A. Alyafi
Children 2023, 10(8), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081425 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 965
Abstract
This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the quality of the peer-reviewed literature and evaluated the usefulness of eye-tracking technology in evaluating observers’ perceptions of pediatric patients with orofacial clefts. PubMed, Science Direct, Wiley, and Web of Science were searched. Articles were screened in [...] Read more.
This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the quality of the peer-reviewed literature and evaluated the usefulness of eye-tracking technology in evaluating observers’ perceptions of pediatric patients with orofacial clefts. PubMed, Science Direct, Wiley, and Web of Science were searched. Articles were screened in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis guidelines, and their methodological quality was assessed. Of the 10,254 identified studies, 12 were included. Eleven studies were cross-sectional, and one was a prospective cohort study. The main areas of interest analyzed were the eyes, nose, and mouth. Nine studies used assessment scales to analyze the link between perceived attractiveness and visualization patterns and measures. For the fixation duration outcome, six studies were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. All studies reported on fixation duration in milliseconds and reported on a standard deviation. The meta-analysis demonstrated a significant difference in the measurements between the control groups and the patients with orofacial clefts. This might indicate the usefulness of eye-tracking technology as a metric for assessing the success of cleft repairs based on the perceptions of different populations. Future studies should be comprehensively reported on for comparability and reproducibility purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Issues in Pediatric Dentistry)
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10 pages, 512 KiB  
Article
Exclusive Breastfeeding in Health Personnel: Incidence and Barriers
by Tongta Nanthakomon, Sonthaya Nukaw and Sudatip Kositamongkol
Children 2023, 10(8), 1424; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081424 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (EBF) in healthcare personnel is challenging due to work schedules, high workloads, or separation issues. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and factors related to EBF in our hospital personnel. Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (EBF) in healthcare personnel is challenging due to work schedules, high workloads, or separation issues. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and factors related to EBF in our hospital personnel. Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Female employees who took maternity leave within 2 years were approached. A questionnaire regarding factors associated with EBF was sent to participants. Factors associated with EBF were analyzed using logistic regression analysis. Results: There were 110 mothers enrolled. The mean maternal age was 32.5 ± 4.21 years, 66.36% came from the nursing department, the infant’s age was 6–24 months, and 46.4% of mothers had previous breastfeeding experience. Our EBF for 6 months rate was 63.6%. Breastfeeding attitude (OR = 1.12, 95%CI 1.08–1.38), perception of breastfeeding obstacle (OR = 1.45, 95%CI 1.26–1.66), breastfeeding behavior (OR = 1.17, 95%CI 1.08–1.26), and support from health system (OR = 1.09, 95%CI 1.01–1.19) were significantly associated with EBF. From multiple logistic regression models, perception of breastfeeding obstacles (aOR 1.55, 95%CI 1.27–1.90), breastfeeding behavior (aOR 1.12, 95%CI 1.01–1.24), and support from health care system (aOR 0.84, 95%CI 0.72–0.97) remain the significant factors associated with successful EBF. Conclusion: Successful EBF was prevalent in mothers who had good attitudes to breastfeeding, perceived low levels of obstacles, and had support from the health care system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Healthcare for Neonates Volume II)
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19 pages, 3304 KiB  
Article
Colostrum Features of Active and Recovered COVID-19 Patients Revealed Using Next-Generation Proteomics Technique, SWATH-MS
by Iván Hernández-Caravaca, Carla Moros-Nicolás, Leopoldo González-Brusi, Mª José Romero de Ávila, Catalina De Paco Matallana, Pablo Pelegrín, María Ángeles Castaño-Molina, Lucía Díaz-Meca, Javier Sánchez-Romero, Laura Martínez-Alarcón, Manuel Avilés and Mª José Izquierdo-Rico
Children 2023, 10(8), 1423; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081423 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1489
Abstract
Colostrum performs nutritional, anti-inflammatory and anti-infective functions and promotes immune system formation and organ development. The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has generated concerns about viral transmission through human milk, with a lack of evidence about human milk’s protective effects against the infection. This study [...] Read more.
Colostrum performs nutritional, anti-inflammatory and anti-infective functions and promotes immune system formation and organ development. The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has generated concerns about viral transmission through human milk, with a lack of evidence about human milk’s protective effects against the infection. This study aimed at analyzing presence of the virus and at identifying the protein expression profile of human colostrum in active and COVID-19-recovered patients. Colostrum samples were collected from women with COVID-19 (n = 3), women recently recovered from the infection (n = 4), and non-infected women (n = 5). The samples were analyzed by means of RT-qPCR to determine presence of the virus and using SWATH-MS for proteomic analysis. Proteomic results were then analyzed using bioinformatic methods. The viral tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2 in the colostrum from COVID-19 patients. The proteomic analysis identified 301 common proteins in all samples analyzed. Nineteen proteins were upregulated and 7 were downregulated in the COVID-19 group versus the control samples, whereas 18 were upregulated and 7 were downregulated when comparing the COVID-19 group to the recovered group. Eleven proteins were biomarkers of active COVID-19 infection. Ten were upregulated: ACTN1, CD36, FAM3B, GPRC5B, IGHA2, IGK, PLTP, RAC1, SDCBP and SERPINF1, and one was downregulated: PSAP. These proteins are mainly related to immunity, inflammatory response and protein transport. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that colostrum is not a vehicle for mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Moreover, the colostrum’s proteome of active and recuperated patients indicate that it could provide immune benefits to infants. Full article
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7 pages, 665 KiB  
Brief Report
Abdominal Wall Movements Predict Intra-Abdominal Pressure Changes in Rats: A Novel Non-Invasive Intra-Abdominal Pressure Detection Method
by Deirdre Vincent, Stefan Mietzsch, Wolfgang Braun, Magdalena Trochimiuk, Konrad Reinshagen and Michael Boettcher
Children 2023, 10(8), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081422 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 899
Abstract
(1) Background: As increases in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) result in irreversible tissue damage, monitoring IAP in critically ill patients using the common urinary bladder catheter method is essential. However, this method can result in complications and is not suitable for very low birth [...] Read more.
(1) Background: As increases in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) result in irreversible tissue damage, monitoring IAP in critically ill patients using the common urinary bladder catheter method is essential. However, this method can result in complications and is not suitable for very low birth weight neonates. The aim of this study was to establish a non-invasive and accurate method to detect IAP changes using an animal model. (2) Methods: IAP changes via intra-abdominal air application (up to 20 mmHg) were measured in 19 Wistar rats via an intra-abdominally placed intracranial pressure probe. Concurrently, abdominal surface tension was measured using a Graseby capsule (GC). (3) Results: A high correlation between abdominal wall distension and IAP (r = 0.9264, CI 0.9249–0.9279) was found for all subjects. (4) Conclusions: IAP changes in rats can be detected non-invasively using a GC. However, further studies are necessary to assess whether IAP changes can be measured using a GC in the neonatal population. Full article
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13 pages, 971 KiB  
Review
Klippel–Trenaunay Syndrome, Segmental/Focal Overgrowth Malformations: A Review
by Piero Pavone, Lidia Marino, Giovanni Cacciaguerra, Alessandra Di Nora, Enrico Parano, Giuseppe Musumeci, Martino Ruggieri, Agata Polizzi and Raffaele Falsaperla
Children 2023, 10(8), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081421 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1943
Abstract
Klippel–Trenaunay syndrome is an uncommon, infrequent, congenital disorder characterized by a triad of capillary malformation, varicosities, and tissue and bone hypertrophy. The presence of two of these three signs is enough to obtain the diagnosis. Capillary malformations are usually present at birth, whereas [...] Read more.
Klippel–Trenaunay syndrome is an uncommon, infrequent, congenital disorder characterized by a triad of capillary malformation, varicosities, and tissue and bone hypertrophy. The presence of two of these three signs is enough to obtain the diagnosis. Capillary malformations are usually present at birth, whereas venous varicosities and limb hypertrophy become more evident later. The syndrome has usually a benign course, but serious complications involving various organs, such as gastrointestinal and genitourinary organs, as well as the central nervous system, may be observed. Recently, Klippel–Trenaunay syndrome has been included in the group of PIK3CA-related overgrowth spectrum (PROS) disorders. In terms of this disorder, new results in etiopathogenesis and in modalities of treatment have been advanced. We report here a review of the recent genetic findings, the main clinical characteristics and related severe complications, differential diagnoses with a similar disorder, and the management of patients with this complex and uncommon syndrome. Full article
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11 pages, 571 KiB  
Review
Maternal Oxygen Administration during Labor: A Controversial Practice
by Isabella Abati, Massimo Micaglio, Dario Giugni, Viola Seravalli, Giulia Vannucci and Mariarosaria Di Tommaso
Children 2023, 10(8), 1420; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081420 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 4184
Abstract
Oxygen administration to the mother is commonly performed during labor, especially in the case of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate, aiming to increase oxygen diffusion through the placenta to fetal tissues. The benefits and potential risks are controversial, especially when the mother is [...] Read more.
Oxygen administration to the mother is commonly performed during labor, especially in the case of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate, aiming to increase oxygen diffusion through the placenta to fetal tissues. The benefits and potential risks are controversial, especially when the mother is not hypoxemic. Its impact on placental gas exchange and the fetal acid–base equilibrium is not fully understood and it probably affects the sensible placental oxygen equilibrium causing a time-dependent vasoconstriction of umbilical and placental vessels. Hyperoxia might also cause the generation of radical oxygen species, raising concerns for the developing fetal cells. Moreover, this practice affects the maternal cardiovascular system, causing alterations of the cardiac index, heart rate and vascular resistance, and unclear effects on uterine blood flow. In conclusion, there is no evidence that maternal oxygen administration can provide any benefit in the case of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate pattern, while possible collateral effects warn of its utilization. Oxygen administration during labor should be reserved for cases of maternal hypoxia. Full article
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24 pages, 1504 KiB  
Article
Multivocal Didaktik Modelling in Early Childhood Education—For a Sustainable Future in a World of Change
by Ann-Christine Vallberg Roth and Linda Palla
Children 2023, 10(8), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081419 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1460
Abstract
In times of democratic decline, unanimous choices and approaches and the idea of a singular best practice may be less conducive to democracy and sustainability. Therefore, the aim of this study is to suggest a multivocal approach to education and teaching by studying [...] Read more.
In times of democratic decline, unanimous choices and approaches and the idea of a singular best practice may be less conducive to democracy and sustainability. Therefore, the aim of this study is to suggest a multivocal approach to education and teaching by studying the question of what may characterise teaching in preschool for a sustainable future. The knowledge contribution and originality of the article is evident in the introduction, method, and results. In abductive analyses, models can summarize what we need to know and teach in pursuit of the creation of open life chances for every child. The results show that didaktik models are open and can provide support for teachers and leaders to consider and base informed decisions on, as well as to motivate their didaktik choices based on scientific foundations and proven experiences. Multivocal didaktik mo-delling intends to open up teaching—cultivating collaboration in preschool for a sustainable future in a world of change. In conclusion, we recommend cultivating an orientation (1) between knowledges, values and didaktik/education/special education in the pursuit of the creation of conditions for good education for all children; (2) between teaching realities and scientific foundations, which are founded in a critical–reflective didaktik, with a choice of direction in relation to an uncertain future; and (3) between continuity, progression and teaching adventures—which can include consolidating, deepening, broadening, raising, and cultivating knowledge and values for multivocality, democracy and sustainability in teaching realities. In the future the concept of multivocal didaktik modelling can be studied in relation to complex teaching realities as in a teaching universe or a teaching multiverse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Education in a World of Change)
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18 pages, 2626 KiB  
Review
State of the Art Bowel Management for Pediatric Colorectal Problems: Hirschsprung Disease
by Elizaveta Bokova, Ninad Prasade, Sanjana Janumpally, John M. Rosen, Irene Isabel P. Lim, Marc A. Levitt and Rebecca M. Rentea
Children 2023, 10(8), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081418 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2845
Abstract
After an initial pull-though, patients with Hirschsprung disease (HD) can present with obstructive symptoms, Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC), failure to thrive, or fecal soiling. This current review focuses on algorithms for evaluation and treatment in children with HD as a part of a manuscript [...] Read more.
After an initial pull-though, patients with Hirschsprung disease (HD) can present with obstructive symptoms, Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC), failure to thrive, or fecal soiling. This current review focuses on algorithms for evaluation and treatment in children with HD as a part of a manuscript series on updates in bowel management. In constipated patients, anatomic causes of obstruction should be excluded. Once anatomy is confirmed to be normal, laxatives, fiber, osmotic laxatives, or mechanical management can be utilized. Botulinum toxin injections are performed in all patients with HD before age five because of the nonrelaxing sphincters that they learn to overcome with increased age. Children with a patulous anus due to iatrogenic damage of the anal sphincters are offered sphincter reconstruction. Hypermotility is managed with antidiarrheals and small-volume enemas. Family education is crucial for the early detection of HAEC and for performing at-home rectal irrigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Pediatric Surgery)
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16 pages, 332 KiB  
Review
Autism and Religion
by Szabolcs Kéri
Children 2023, 10(8), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081417 - 20 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2434
Abstract
The disease burden of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a definitive public health challenge. The quality of life of children with ASD depends on how the cultural environment fits their special needs, including religious and spiritual factors. Does ASD predict low religiosity, and [...] Read more.
The disease burden of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a definitive public health challenge. The quality of life of children with ASD depends on how the cultural environment fits their special needs, including religious and spiritual factors. Does ASD predict low religiosity, and if not, what is the significance for clinical care? To answer this question, we reviewed the literature on the cognitive models of ASD and religious beliefs. We found that the cognitive models of ASD and religious beliefs substantially overlap, which is particularly important from a developmental psychological perspective. These models include Theory of Mind and intentionality, the “broken mirror” hypothesis, central coherence, and the intense world theory. We dispute the assumption that individuals with ASD are inherently less religious and spiritual than the neurotypical population. Religiosity is possibly expressed differently in ASD with unique spiritual experiences and beliefs (“gifted, visionary, and truth-seeker”). In some circumstances, a religious background can be helpful for both children with ASD and their caregivers. These circumstances should not be neglected, and clinicians are encouraged to consider patients’ religious context, resources, and needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
14 pages, 2101 KiB  
Article
Influence of Lexical Development on Reading and Spelling Skills: Effects of Enhancement on Second-Grade Children in Primary School
by Oriana Incognito, Alice Mercugliano and Lucia Bigozzi
Children 2023, 10(8), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081416 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1989
Abstract
Previous studies suggest that lexical competence is an important factor that influences reading skills and spelling accuracy in primary school children. Understanding the relationship between these skills will provide valuable insights to improve reading and writing enhancement and intervention strategies. The aim of [...] Read more.
Previous studies suggest that lexical competence is an important factor that influences reading skills and spelling accuracy in primary school children. Understanding the relationship between these skills will provide valuable insights to improve reading and writing enhancement and intervention strategies. The aim of this pre-post longitudinal study is to examine the effectiveness of an enhancement program, in which there are activities proposed through a narrative and metacognitive methodology, designed to develop the cognitive processes of lexical acquisition and its effects on reading and writing ability. A total of 74 primary school children (M-age = 7.04 years) participated in the research. They were divided into groups: experimental, which carried out the enhancement, and control groups, which carried out the typical school program. The results show that children who carried out the enhancement obtained higher scores in reading skills, specifically in reading accuracy and text comprehension and spelling accuracy, in comparison with their peers in the control group. These results suggest that strengthening the lexical semantic pathway, as theorized by Coltheart’s two-way model, can lead to improved reading comprehension and diminished reading errors and spelling inaccuracies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children with Reading Difficulties: How to Intervene and Treat?)
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16 pages, 1321 KiB  
Article
Online Safety for Children and Youth under the 4Cs Framework—A Focus on Digital Policies in Australia, Canada, and the UK
by Yujin Jang and Bomin Ko
Children 2023, 10(8), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081415 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3241
Abstract
This study analyzes the previous literature on the online safety of children and youth under “the 4Cs risk framework” concerning contact, content, conduct, and contract risks. It then conducts a comparative study of Australia, Canada, and the UK, comparing their institutions, governance, and [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the previous literature on the online safety of children and youth under “the 4Cs risk framework” concerning contact, content, conduct, and contract risks. It then conducts a comparative study of Australia, Canada, and the UK, comparing their institutions, governance, and government-led programs. Relevant research in Childhood Education Studies is insufficient both in quantity and quality. To minimize the four major online risks for children and youth in cyberspace, it is necessary to maintain a regulatory approach to the online exposure of children under the age of 13. Moreover, the global society should respond together to these online risks with “multi-level” policymaking under a “multi-stakeholder approach”. At the international level, multilateral discussion within the OECD and under UN subsidiaries should continue to lead international cooperation. At the domestic level, a special agency in charge of online safety for children and youth should be established in each country, encompassing all relevant stakeholders, including educators and digital firms. At the school and family levels, both parents and teachers need to work together in facilitating digital literacy education, providing proper guidelines for the online activities of children and youth, and helping them to become more satisfied and productive users in the digital era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
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11 pages, 417 KiB  
Article
Comorbidities Affecting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective Chart Review
by Jessy Burns, Ryan Phung, Shayna McNeill, Ana Hanlon-Dearman and M. Florencia Ricci
Children 2023, 10(8), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081414 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2053
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interaction/communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. Recent discussions have emerged worldwide regarding the heterogeneity around presentation/etiology and comorbidities. This study aimed to determine the frequency and characteristics of comorbidities among [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interaction/communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. Recent discussions have emerged worldwide regarding the heterogeneity around presentation/etiology and comorbidities. This study aimed to determine the frequency and characteristics of comorbidities among children diagnosed with ASD in Manitoba and to evaluate differences in presentation between those with and without medical comorbidities. We conducted a retrospective chart review of >1900 electronic charts at the only publicly funded referral site for children ≤6 years requiring evaluation for ASD in Manitoba. All children aged 0–6 years diagnosed with ASD at this site between May 2016 and September 2021 were identified. χ2 and t-tests were used to compare groups. Of the total of 1858 children identified, 1452 (78.1%) were boys, 251 (13.5%) were prematurely born, and 539 (29.0%) had ≥1 medical comorbidity. Global developmental delay (GDD) was diagnosed in 428 (23.0%). The age of referral and diagnosis did not differ between groups. Comorbidities were more common among premature children (16.0% vs. 12.5%, p: 0.005) and children with comorbid GDD (34.9% vs. 18.2%, p < 0.001). Neurological comorbidities were most common (37.1%). No sex difference in the overall presence of comorbidities was found (boys = 77.1% vs. 78.5%, p: 0.518); however, girls had a higher incidence of neurological comorbidities, e.g., cerebral palsy, seizures, hypotonia (14.8% vs. 9.64%, p: 0.009), as well as genetic comorbidities (4.92% vs. 2.75%, p: 0.04). The high rates of associated neurological conditions, GDD, and prematurity add heterogeneity to this group leading to potential difficulties with prognosis and service allocation. Primary vs. secondary ASD can be a way of separating individuals based on relevant medical comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health Progress)
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17 pages, 554 KiB  
Article
A Tale of Two Programs for Parents of Young Children: Independently-Conducted Case Studies of Workforce Contributions to Scale in Bhutan and Rwanda
by Frances Aboud, Karma Choden, Michael Tusiimi, Rafael Contreras Gomez, Rachel Hatch, Sara Dang, Theresa Betancourt, Karma Dyenka, Grace Umulisa and Carina Omoeva
Children 2023, 10(8), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081413 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
Two case studies of parenting programs, aiming to improve parenting practices and child development outcomes, and implemented by Save the Children/Ministry of Health/Khesar Gyalpo University in Bhutan and Boston College/University of Rwanda/FXB in Rwanda, respectively called Prescription to Play and Sugira Muryango, were [...] Read more.
Two case studies of parenting programs, aiming to improve parenting practices and child development outcomes, and implemented by Save the Children/Ministry of Health/Khesar Gyalpo University in Bhutan and Boston College/University of Rwanda/FXB in Rwanda, respectively called Prescription to Play and Sugira Muryango, were conducted by an independent research and learning group. Implementation research focused on the workforce, a crucial but little-studied element determining the success of programs going to scale. Mixed methods were used to examine their training, workload, challenges, and quality of delivery. Health assistants in Bhutan and volunteers in Rwanda were trained for 10–11 days using demonstrations, role plays, and manuals outlining activities to deliver to groups of parents (Bhutan) or during home visits (Rwanda). Workers’ own assessments of their delivery quality, their confidence, and their motivations revealed that duty, confidence, and community respect were strong motivators. According to independent observations, the quality of their delivery was generally good, with an overall mean rating on 10 items of 2.36 (Bhutan) and 2.44 (Rwanda) out of 3. The facilitators of scaling for Bhutan included institutionalizing training and a knowledgeable workforce; the barrier was an overworked workforce. The facilitators of scaling for Rwanda included strong follow-up supervision; the barriers included high attrition among a volunteer workforce. Full article
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10 pages, 866 KiB  
Article
Trends in Outcomes of Major Intracerebral Haemorrhage in a National Cohort of Very Preterm Born Infants in Switzerland
by Philip Thwaites, Cornelia Hagmann, Juliane Schneider, Sven M. Schulzke, Sebastian Grunt, Thi Dao Nguyen, Dirk Bassler and Giancarlo Natalucci
Children 2023, 10(8), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081412 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Background: Major brain lesions, such as grade 3 intraventricular haemorrhage (G3-IVH) and periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (PVHI) are among the main predictors for poor neurodevelopment in preterm infants. In the last decades advancements in neonatal care have led to a general decrease in adverse [...] Read more.
Background: Major brain lesions, such as grade 3 intraventricular haemorrhage (G3-IVH) and periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (PVHI) are among the main predictors for poor neurodevelopment in preterm infants. In the last decades advancements in neonatal care have led to a general decrease in adverse outcomes. Aim: To assess trends of mortality and neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) in a recent Swiss cohort of very preterm infants with grade 3 intraventricular haemorrhage (G3-IVH) and periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (PVHI). Methods: In this retrospective population-based cohort study, rates of mortality, and NDI at 2 years corrected age were reported in infants born at 24–29 weeks gestational age (GA) in Switzerland in 2002–2014, with G3-IVH and/or PVHI. Results: Out of 4956 eligible infants, 462 (9%) developed G3-IVH (n = 172) or PVHI (n = 290). The average mortality rates for the two pathologies were 33% (56/172) and 60% (175/290), respectively. In 2002–2014, no change in rates of mortality (G3-IVH, p = 0.845; PVHI, p = 0.386) or NDI in survivors (G3-IVH, p = 0.756; PVHI, p = 0.588) were observed, while mean GA decreased (G3-IVH, p = 0.020; PVHI, p = 0.004). Multivariable regression analysis showed a strong association of G3-IVH and PVHI for both mortality and NDI. Death occurred after withdrawal of care in 81% of cases. Conclusion: In 2002–2014, rates of mortality and NDI in very preterm born infants with major brain lesions did not change. The significant decrease in mean GA and changing hospital policies over this time span may factor into the interpretation of these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Neonatology)
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20 pages, 709 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Impact of Swimming on Fundamental Movement Skill Development in Children (3–11 Years): A Systematic Literature Review
by Lauren Sinclair and Clare M. P. Roscoe
Children 2023, 10(8), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081411 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2821
Abstract
Swimming is the only sport providing lifesaving skills, reducing the risk of death by drowning, a top cause of deaths in children aged 1–14 years. Research shows swimming amongst other sports can aid fundamental movement skill (FMS) development. Therefore, this review investigated the [...] Read more.
Swimming is the only sport providing lifesaving skills, reducing the risk of death by drowning, a top cause of deaths in children aged 1–14 years. Research shows swimming amongst other sports can aid fundamental movement skill (FMS) development. Therefore, this review investigated the following: (1) how swimming impacts FMS development in children aged 3–11 years, (2) successful tools assessing swimming and FMS, and (3) recommendations appropriate to the UK curriculum based on findings of this study. A systematic literature review using Google Scholar, PubMed, and SPORTDiscuss was conducted to investigate the effects of swimming on FMS development. Methods included database searching, finalising articles appropriate to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and identifying relevant articles using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool assessed data quality and bias risk, whilst thematic analysis synthesised data alongside descriptive results. Ten papers were synthesised, identifying significant positive impacts of swimming on FMS, including significant pre–post testing (p < 0.01), significant improvements compared to other sports (p < 0.001), and significant improvements in specific motor skills (Balance; p = 0.0004). Future research specifically addressing swimming and FMS is essential to improving the curriculum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
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14 pages, 685 KiB  
Article
Caring for Children with Dravet Syndrome: Exploring the Daily Challenges of Family Caregivers
by Jan Domaradzki and Dariusz Walkowiak
Children 2023, 10(8), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081410 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
While Polish studies focus on the symptoms, causes and treatment of people suffering from Dravet syndrome (DS), much less is known about the situation of the family caregivers of DS children. This study was designed to explore the experiences, daily challenges and needs [...] Read more.
While Polish studies focus on the symptoms, causes and treatment of people suffering from Dravet syndrome (DS), much less is known about the situation of the family caregivers of DS children. This study was designed to explore the experiences, daily challenges and needs related to caring for DS children. An anonymous self-administered online questionnaire was developed. The survey was completed by 75 family caregivers affiliated with the Association for People with Severe Refractory Epilepsy DRAVET.PL on Facebook. Most caregivers felt burdened by their children’s reduced mobility (57.3%), mood swings (57.3%), lack of access to rehabilitation and medicine (56%) and healthcare expenses (50.7%). Caregivers also complained of a lack of time to themselves (76%) and work restrictions resulting from caregiving (72%). They consequently reported experiencing fatigue (84%), a deterioration of mental health (60%) and intimacy problems with their spouse/partner (53.4%). An important source of strain was a prolonged diagnostic odyssey and the constant struggle over the healthcare services for DS children. Since DS caregivers’ problems and needs are often overlooked, they may be described as the forgotten people in DS. Healthcare professionals should be educated about the challenges related to caring for DS child, psycho-social status and coping resources of DS caregivers, and should focus on identification, monitoring and supporting caregivers’ physical and mental well-being and needs. Full article
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15 pages, 2014 KiB  
Article
Using Virtual Reality to Reduce Anxiety and Improve Hospital Experience in Paediatric Orthopaedic Patients and Their Parents
by Natasha Oh, Nina Parrish, In Woo Lee, Sasha Temple, Oliver Perkins and Michail Kokkinakis
Children 2023, 10(8), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081409 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1838
Abstract
The hospital environment can be a stressful environment for paediatric patients and their parents, which is often characterised by heightened levels of pain and anxiety. To address these challenges, many innovative intervention methods has been explored. For example, immersive virtual reality (VR) headsets [...] Read more.
The hospital environment can be a stressful environment for paediatric patients and their parents, which is often characterised by heightened levels of pain and anxiety. To address these challenges, many innovative intervention methods has been explored. For example, immersive virtual reality (VR) headsets as a distraction method has become an increasingly popular intervention in recent years. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR using ‘Rescape DR.VR Junior’ in reducing pain, anxiety, and enhancing the overall hospital experience for paediatric orthopaedic patients and their parents. A total of 64 patients aged 4–18 years were included in this study, which utilised a control group (interacting with a play specialist) and a VR intervention group (including pre-operative patients and fracture clinic patients). Anxiety and pain levels were measured using a 10-point Likert scale before and after the intervention, and validated questionnaires were used to assess parental anxiety and overall hospital experience. The results indicated that VR intervention significantly reduced patient and parental anxiety both before surgery and in the fracture clinic setting (p < 0.5). However, no significant reduction in pain scores was observed in either environments. Comparatively, VR intervention was found to be comparable to traditional play methods in terms of reducing anxiety in the pre-operative environment. All patients and parents agreed that the use of VR distraction methods significantly improved their hospital experience. In conclusion, VR is an effective method for reducing child and parental anxiety and enhancing the hospital experience and can be used alone or in conjunction with a play specialist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research in Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery)
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16 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
Adolescents and Trust in Online Social Interactions: A Qualitative Exploratory Study
by Elisa Colì, Marinella Paciello, Ernestina Lamponi, Rubina Calella and Rino Falcone
Children 2023, 10(8), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081408 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1925
Abstract
Social media have become increasingly embedded in adolescents’ daily lives. Although these contexts have been widely studied, how trust in online relationships is built among adolescents is still an unexplored issue. By adopting the theoretical socio-cognitive model of trust, this study aims to [...] Read more.
Social media have become increasingly embedded in adolescents’ daily lives. Although these contexts have been widely studied, how trust in online relationships is built among adolescents is still an unexplored issue. By adopting the theoretical socio-cognitive model of trust, this study aims to explore the components of online trust as far as today’s teenagers are concerned. The study involved 10 adolescents aged between 12 and 18 (M = 15.5). The data were collected using individual semi-structured, audio-recorded, and faithfully transcribed interviews. A deductive-inductive content analysis carried out with the NVivo10 software was performed on the textual material. Results show that adolescents seem to be aware of online trust value in “selecting” peers to be trusted. To protect themselves from the risks they are exposed to, they choose to interact with peers/friends who are already known in real life or are similar to them in terms of interests, ways of thinking, passions, and age. Additionally, others’ competencies and willingness play an important role in adolescents’ evaluations and decisions to rely on others online. The results of this study could be useful for developing awareness-raising interventions on the risks that adolescents are exposed to in order to promote “safe” relationships of trust and emphasize the possible positive use of technologies (e.g., by building online trust relationships using peer “safe” models). Full article
9 pages, 1672 KiB  
Article
Butterflies and Ribbons: Supporting Families Experiencing Perinatal Loss in Multiple Gestation
by Béatrice Boutillier, Nicholas D. Embleton, Sophie Bélanger, Alexie Bigras-Mercier, Audrey Larone Juneau, Keith J. Barrington and Annie Janvier
Children 2023, 10(8), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081407 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1343
Abstract
Introduction: In neonatology, multiple pregnancies are common. Unfortunately, it is not rare for one baby to die. Communication with parents in these circumstances has been demonstrated to be sub-optimal. Methods: Two educational programs were evaluated with pre- and post-course surveys, questionnaires administered to [...] Read more.
Introduction: In neonatology, multiple pregnancies are common. Unfortunately, it is not rare for one baby to die. Communication with parents in these circumstances has been demonstrated to be sub-optimal. Methods: Two educational programs were evaluated with pre- and post-course surveys, questionnaires administered to participants, and audits. Results: In the online Butterfly project (UK; n = 734 participants), all participants reported that the training exceeded or met their expectations, 97% reported they learned new skills, and 48% had already applied them. Participants expressed gratitude in their open-ended answers: “I feel a lot more confident in supporting parents in this situation”. In the Ribbon project (workshop for neonatal clinicians, Quebec; n = 242), 97% were satisfied with the training and reported feeling more comfortable caring for bereaved parents. Knowledge improved pre–post training. Audits revealed that 100% of cases were identified on the incubator and the baby’s/babies’ admission card, all changed rooms after the death of their co-twin/triplet, and all had the name of their co-twin/triplet on the discharge summary. All clinicians (55) knew what the ribbon symbol meant when asked during surprise audits at the bedside. Conclusion: Different educational strategies to optimize communication with families after the perinatal loss of a co-twin are appreciated and have a positive impact. Full article
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13 pages, 292 KiB  
Review
Pediatric Palliative Care: Insights into Assessment Tools and Review Instruments
by Simonetta Papa, Anna Mercante, Luca Giacomelli and Franca Benini
Children 2023, 10(8), 1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081406 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2407
Abstract
The proper assessment of needs and outcomes in pediatric palliative care (PPC) is imperative
to ensure the best possible service to patients and families. However, given the multidimensional
nature of PPC, the low number of patients in this setting, the heterogeneity of diseases, [...] Read more.
The proper assessment of needs and outcomes in pediatric palliative care (PPC) is imperative
to ensure the best possible service to patients and families. However, given the multidimensional
nature of PPC, the low number of patients in this setting, the heterogeneity of diseases, the presence
of cognitive impairment in many patients, and the physiological development of children, outcomes
can be complex and difficult to measure. Consequently, in this context, the use of standardized
and validated tools to assess the needs of children and families, to assess symptom severity, and
to estimate the quality of PPC service represent a current need. Even if efforts have been made to
standardize approaches and tools for palliative care in adults, to our knowledge, a similar comprehensive
assessment of PPC has not yet been conducted to date. This narrative review provides an
overview and discusses the evaluation of tools currently applied in PPC, with an educational intent
for healthcare providers. We found that several instruments are available to assess different dimensions
of PPC. We proposed a classification into eligibility tools, patient and family needs assessment
tools, and care assessment tools. At present, two main eligibility tools exist, the PaPaS Scale and the
ACCAPED Scale questionnaire. Most of the tools for patient and family needs assessment have not
been specifically validated in the PPC setting, and many may be more readily applied in research
settings rather than in daily practice. Similar considerations can be made for tools assessing QoL,
while tools assessing PPC service quality seem to be easily applied. Efforts to develop new specific
tools and validate existing ones are undoubtedly advocated. However, in the patient’s best interest,
PPC healthcare providers should start using available tools, regardless of their validation status. Full article
12 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
Academic Performance in Institutionalized and Noninstitutionalized Children: The Role of Cognitive Ability and Negative Lability
by Mariana Sousa, Manuela Peixoto, Orlanda Cruz and Sara Cruz
Children 2023, 10(8), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081405 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
More research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to low academic achievement in institutionalized children. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive and emotion regulation skills and academic performance, by comparing institutionalized and noninstitutionalized Portuguese children. [...] Read more.
More research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to low academic achievement in institutionalized children. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive and emotion regulation skills and academic performance, by comparing institutionalized and noninstitutionalized Portuguese children. The sample comprised 94 participants (46 institutionalized (22 boys) and 48 noninstitutionalized (23 boys) children), aged between 6 and 10 years, matched for age and sex. We used Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM) to measure cognitive abilities. Emotional regulation and negative lability were assessed using the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERC). Academic performance was assessed with the Competence Academic Scale (CAS) of the Portuguese version of the Social Skills Rating System—Teacher Form (SSRS-T). Institutionalized children exhibited poorer academic performance than their noninstitutionalized counterparts (effect size, η2 = 0.174). Cognitive ability (β = 0.28) and negative lability (β = −0.28) were significant predictors of academic performance. In addition to institutionalization, cognitive ability, and the challenges of managing negative emotions may contribute to the observed differences in academic performance. Interventions aimed at fostering cognitive and emotional competencies may play a protective role for institutionalized children facing academic and social difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
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7 pages, 1204 KiB  
Article
The Pandemic Allocation of Ventilators Model Penalizes Infants with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
by Anupama Sundaram, Jonathan M. Fanaroff, Deanne Wilson-Costello, Melissa Alberts, Naini Shiswawala, Noam Stern and Rita M. Ryan
Children 2023, 10(8), 1404; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081404 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 837
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions developed ventilator allocation models. In one proposed model, neonates compete with adults for ventilators using a scoring system. Points are given for conditions that increase one- and five-year (y) mortality. For example, comparable points were added for adult [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions developed ventilator allocation models. In one proposed model, neonates compete with adults for ventilators using a scoring system. Points are given for conditions that increase one- and five-year (y) mortality. For example, comparable points were added for adult conditions with mortality of 71.3% and for neonates with moderate or severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (mod/sBPD). We hypothesized that this model overestimates mortality in neonates with BPD and would penalize these infants unfairly. There was little information available on 1 y and 5 y mortality risk for mod/sBPD. To evaluate this allocation protocol, a retrospective chart review was performed on infants born ≥22 weeks and weighing <1500 g admitted to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in 2015 to identify babies with BPD. The main outcomes were 1 and 5 y mortality. In 2015, 28 infants were diagnosed with mod/s BPD based on NIH 2001 definition; 4 infants had modBPD and 24 had sBPD. All infants (100%) with modBPD survived to 5 y; 2 infants with sBPD died by 1 y (8%) and 22 survived (92%) to 1 y; 3 died (12.5%) by 5 y; and at least 13 survived (54%) to 5 y. Infants with mod/s BPD had lower-than-predicted 1 and 5 y mortality, suggesting the points assigned in the model are too high for these conditions. We believe this model would unfairly penalize these babies. Full article
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22 pages, 1806 KiB  
Article
Co-Creation of a School-Based Motor Competence and Mental Health Intervention: Move Well, Feel Good
by Lauren Clifford, Richard Tyler, Zoe Knowles, Emma Ashworth, Lynne Boddy, Lawrence Foweather and Stuart J. Fairclough
Children 2023, 10(8), 1403; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081403 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Low motor competence (MC) and inhibited psychosocial development are associated with mental health difficulties. Improving children’s MC through school-based physical activity interventions emphasising psychosocial development may therefore be a mechanism for promoting positive mental health. This study describes and provides reflective insights into [...] Read more.
Low motor competence (MC) and inhibited psychosocial development are associated with mental health difficulties. Improving children’s MC through school-based physical activity interventions emphasising psychosocial development may therefore be a mechanism for promoting positive mental health. This study describes and provides reflective insights into the co-creation of ‘Move Well Feel Good’, a primary school physical activity intervention to improve children’s MC and mental health. Class teachers, school leaders, physical activity specialists, and children (aged 8–9 years) participated in a series of co-creation workshops. Stakeholders’ knowledge and experiences were integrated with existing research evidence using creative methods (e.g., post-it note tasks, worksheets, and drawings) to facilitate discussion. The co-creation process culminated in stakeholder consensus voting for one of three proposed intervention ideas. Children cited physical and mental health benefits, enjoyment with friends, and high perceived competence as motives for being physically active. Opportunities to develop MC across the different segments of the school day were identified by adult stakeholders, who perceived children’s lack of resilience, an overloaded curriculum, and poor parental support for physical activity as barriers to intervention implementation. The chosen intervention idea received six out of a possible twelve votes. Co-creation projects are specific to the contexts in which they are implemented. This study reinforces the complex nature of school-based intervention development and highlights the value of engaging with stakeholders in co-creation processes. Full article
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14 pages, 2942 KiB  
Article
Hemoglobin and Its Z Score Reference Intervals in Febrile Children: A Cohort Study of 98,572 Febrile Children
by Chu-Yin Cheng, Ting-Hsuan Hsu, Ya-Ling Yang and Ying-Hsien Huang
Children 2023, 10(8), 1402; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081402 - 17 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1083
Abstract
Objectives: Febrile disease and age of children were associated with a variation in hemoglobin (Hb) level. Both CRP and Hb serve as laboratory markers that offer valuable insights into a patient’s health, particularly in relation to inflammation and specific medical conditions. Although a [...] Read more.
Objectives: Febrile disease and age of children were associated with a variation in hemoglobin (Hb) level. Both CRP and Hb serve as laboratory markers that offer valuable insights into a patient’s health, particularly in relation to inflammation and specific medical conditions. Although a direct correlation between CRP and Hb levels is not established, the relationship between these markers has garnered academic attention and investigation. This study aimed to determine updated reference ranges for Hb levels for age and investigated its correlation with CRP in febrile children under the age of 18. Methods: This is a cohort study of in Chang Gung Memorial Hospitals conducted from January 2010 to December 2019. Blood samples were collected from 98,572 febrile children who were or had been admitted in the pediatric emergency department. The parameters of individuals were presented as the mean ± standard deviation or 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles. We also determined the variation of Hb and Z score of Hb between CRP levels in febrile children. Result: We observed that the Hb levels were the highest immediately after birth and subsequently underwent a rapid decline, reaching their lowest point at around 1–2 months of age, and followed by a steady increment in Hb levels throughout childhood and adolescence. In addition, there was a significant and wide variation in Hb levels during the infant period. It revealed a significant association between higher CRP levels and lower Hb levels or a more negative Z score of Hb across all age subgroups. Moreover, in patients with bacteremia, CRP levels were higher, Hb concentrations were lower, and Z scores of Hb were also lower compared to the non-bacteremia group. Furthermore, the bacteremia group exhibited a more substantial negative correlation between CRP levels and a Z score of Hb (r = −0.41, p < 0.001) compared to the non-bacteremia group (r = −0.115, p < 0.049). Conclusion: The study findings revealed that the Hb references varied depending on the age of the children and their CRP levels. In addition, we established new reference values for Hb and its Z scores and explore their relationship with CRP. It provides valuable insights into the Hb status and its potential association with inflammation in febrile pediatric patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
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13 pages, 572 KiB  
Article
The Effect of a Short-Term Occupational Therapy Intervention on the Participation and Personal Factors of Preschoolers with Developmental Disabilities
by Bosmat Soref, Gary L. Robinson and Orit Bart
Children 2023, 10(8), 1401; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081401 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
Background: Preschoolers with developmental disabilities are referred to occupational therapy due to their decreased participation in daily life occupations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the improvement in preschoolers’ participation and sensory-motor abilities following an occupational therapy intervention. Materials and Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Preschoolers with developmental disabilities are referred to occupational therapy due to their decreased participation in daily life occupations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the improvement in preschoolers’ participation and sensory-motor abilities following an occupational therapy intervention. Materials and Methods: A prospective cohort study of 38 preschoolers and their parents was conducted using an interrupted time-series design, including assessments at three time points: base line (upon referral to an occupational therapy assessment), pre-intervention, and post-intervention after 9–12 sessions of occupational therapy interventions. Children were evaluated with the Developmental Test of Visual–Motor Integration, as well as the balance and fine motor precision sub tests of the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. Parents completed the Children’s Participation Questionnaire and the Child Performance Skills Questionnaire. Each intervention session was documented by the therapists using the Documentation of Occupational Therapy Session Intervention form. Results: Significant improvement in children’s sensory–motor abilities were found in balance, visual integration, and fine motor precision post-intervention. There were also improvements in the measures of diversity, children’s independence, and parental satisfaction. Conclusions: A short-term occupational therapy intervention applied to preschoolers with developmental disabilities is effective in improving their sensory–motor abilities, as well as in promoting their participation in daily activities. Full article
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11 pages, 2220 KiB  
Article
Introduction of Supervisor-Type Pediatric Hospitalists in a Tertiary Children’s Hospital: Experiences in a Hematology/Oncology Ward
by Hong Yul An, Yun Jung Choi, So Hye Lee, Min Sun Kim, Hyun Jin Park, Bo Kyung Kim, Jung Yoon Choi, Hyoung Jin Kang, Saram Lee and Kyung Taek Hong
Children 2023, 10(8), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081400 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1032
Abstract
(1) Background: Hospitalists are healthcare providers who focus on hospitalized patients, but research on the roles of pediatric hospitalists is lacking. This study investigates the role of a supervisor-type hospitalist in a pediatric hematology/oncology ward at a tertiary children’s hospital, assessing the impact [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Hospitalists are healthcare providers who focus on hospitalized patients, but research on the roles of pediatric hospitalists is lacking. This study investigates the role of a supervisor-type hospitalist in a pediatric hematology/oncology ward at a tertiary children’s hospital, assessing the impact on satisfaction levels among patient caregivers, resident physicians, and nurses. (2) Methods: A retrospective analysis and online surveys were conducted to assess satisfaction levels before and after the introduction of hospitalists in the Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Seoul National University Children’s Hospital in the Republic of Korea. (3) Results: The introduction of hospitalists led to a 19.3% reduction in prescription error interventions over six months. Unexpected transfers to the intensive care unit decreased from 1.4% to 0.7% (p = 0.229). Patient caregivers reported elevated satisfaction levels with physicians (rated 8.47/10), and there was a significant enhancement in overall satisfaction among nurses (increasing from 3.23 to 4.23/5, p < 0.001). The majority of resident physicians (83.3%) expressed contentment with the hospitalist system, with 77% indicating an interest in transitioning to a hospitalist role. However, these resident physicians also expressed concerns regarding job stability. (4) Conclusions: Supervisor-type pediatric hospitalists have the potential to elevate satisfaction levels not only among patient caregivers but also among nurses and resident physicians, showing promise in improving medical care quality. Nonetheless, ensuring favorable perception and securing job stability within the hospitalist system are pivotal for achieving successful implementation. Full article
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10 pages, 1277 KiB  
Article
Iatrogenic Esophageal Perforation in Premature Infants: A Multicenter Retrospective Study from Poland
by Aleksandra Mikołajczak, Katarzyna Kufel, Joanna Żytyńska-Daniluk, Magdalena Rutkowska and Renata Bokiniec
Children 2023, 10(8), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081399 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Greater awareness of possible iatrogenic esophageal perforation (EP) is needed. Though rare, EP is a legitimate health risk as it may lead to long-term morbidities. This study presents and discusses iatrogenic EP in a subset of preterm infants. Using radiographic images, we study [...] Read more.
Greater awareness of possible iatrogenic esophageal perforation (EP) is needed. Though rare, EP is a legitimate health risk as it may lead to long-term morbidities. This study presents and discusses iatrogenic EP in a subset of preterm infants. Using radiographic images, we study and describe the consequences of the orogastric/nasogastric tube position (in radiographic images). We analyze the possible influence of histological chorioamnionitis on the development of esophageal perforation. This retrospective study examines the hospital records of 1149 preterm infants, 2009–2016, with very low birth weight (VLBW) and iatrogenic EP, comparing mortalities and morbidities between the two groups of preterm infants who had birth weights (BWs) of less than 750 g and were less than 27 weeks gestation age at birth: one group with iatrogenic esophageal perforation (EP group) and one group without perforation (non-EP group—the control group). Histopathological chorioamnionitis of the placenta showed no statistically significant differences between the groups. The only statistically significant difference was in the air leaks (p = 0.01). Three types of nasogastric tube (NGT) X-ray location were identified, depending on the place of the perforation: (1) high position below the carina mimicking esophageal atresia; (2) low, intra-abdominal; (3) NGT right pleura-directed. We also highlight the particular symptoms that may be indicative of EP due to a displacement of the nasogastric tube. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Healthcare for Neonates Volume II)
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10 pages, 738 KiB  
Article
The Effects of COVID-19 Virtual Learning on Body Fat and Insulin Resistance in Adolescents with Overweight or Obesity
by Lindsay M. Stager, Casie H. Morgan, Caroline S. Watson, Skylar Morriss, Barbara A. Gower and Aaron D. Fobian
Children 2023, 10(8), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10081398 - 16 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
(1) Background: COVID-19 virtual learning reduced structural supports for adolescent physical activity and diet, threatening metabolic health, especially in teens with overweight or obesity (OWOB). (2) Methods: Adolescents (N = 14) with OWOB completed fasting blood draws (measuring insulin resistance, IR) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: COVID-19 virtual learning reduced structural supports for adolescent physical activity and diet, threatening metabolic health, especially in teens with overweight or obesity (OWOB). (2) Methods: Adolescents (N = 14) with OWOB completed fasting blood draws (measuring insulin resistance, IR) and Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA, measuring total body fat percent, TBF%) pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19. Changes in TBF% and IR were calculated (1) pre-COVID-19 and (2) from pre-COVID-19 to during COVID-19. Age and body mass index (BMI) percentile-matched data assessed normative changes across similar, non-COVID-19 time periods. Paired t-tests compared TBF% change pre- to during COVID-19 with (1) TBF% change pre-COVID19 and (2) TBF% normative change. Two ANCOVAs compared IR change pre- to during COVID-19 with (1) IR change pre-COVID-19 controlling for BMI z-score and difference in time between assessments and (2) normative change in IR controlling for sex/race. (3) Results: The TBF% change pre-COVID-19 and the normative change were similar. The TBF% increased more (~six percentage points) during COVID-19 compared to normative change (p < 0.01). During COVID-19, IR increased more (~2.5 units) than change pre-COVID-19 (p = 0.03) and increased more (~3.5 units) than normative change (p = 0.01). (4) Conclusions: TBF% and IR increased exponentially during COVID-19 in teens with OWOB compared to pre-COVID-19 and normative changes. Full article
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