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Children, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 126 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by interaction differences, entailing specificities with visual attention skills. While interacting with humans is challenging for youths with ASD, interaction with animals appears to be different. Notably, their visual attention toward animals may be different, which may have numerous benefits. We propose a scoping review on research conducted on visual attention towards animals in youths with ASD, following PRISMA guidelines. Using strict inclusion criteria, 21 studies were identified in international peer-reviewed journals. Taken together, the results highlighted that the visual attention toward animals of youths with ASD seems to be unaltered, at least on 2D pictures (they look at their eyes just as their neurotypical peers do). The next step for future studies would be to investigate if such results extend to real-life conditions. View this paper
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11 pages, 1139 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of a Spoke-Based Double-Lumen Pediatric Gastrostomy Tube
by Mihika Aedla, Charlotte J. Cheng, Anson Y. Zhou, Siya Zhang, Jocelyn Hsu, Katherine Hu, Jason C. Qian, Kevin Van de Sompel, Anthony Ho, Karun V. Sharma and Elizabeth A. Logsdon
Children 2024, 11(2), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020263 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are the gold standard for feeding assistance for children with feeding dysfunction. Current G-tubes pose complications that interrupt the delivery of feed, including tube displacement and difficulty of at-home use. This study details an alternative, spoke-based, double-lumen G-tube design and [...] Read more.
Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are the gold standard for feeding assistance for children with feeding dysfunction. Current G-tubes pose complications that interrupt the delivery of feed, including tube displacement and difficulty of at-home use. This study details an alternative, spoke-based, double-lumen G-tube design and preliminary validation of its function and usability. Pull force testing was performed on spoke G-tube models across three sizes and two classifications (hard/soft). Preliminary models were evaluated against market standards. Though the pull force of the spoke model was found to be lower than that of both market standards, hard modifications to the spoke model improved retentive force. Ease of use was tested amongst users unfamiliar with G-tube placement. The spoke design required 12.3 ± 4.7 s to deploy, less than half the time required for market standards. However, balloon G-tubes were still perceived to be easiest to use by 70% of participants, with indications that a spoke design may be easier to use if sized similarly to current G-tubes, with auxiliary improvements to factors such as grip. While there is a need for improvements in the material properties and manufacturing of the proposed design, this study provides early validation of the potential to address complications of existing G-tubes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infant Feeding: Advances and Future Challenges)
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14 pages, 708 KiB  
Review
The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge in Childhood Asthma over Time: A Surprising History
by Laura Venditto, Sonia Morano, Giuliana Ferrante, Michele Piazza, Laura Tenero, Giorgio Piacentini and Luca Pecoraro
Children 2024, 11(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020262 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Asthma is a disease that has been described since the times of Hammurabi. However, it is only since the 1960s that effective therapeutic strategies have been available. Pathogenic mechanisms underlying the disease have been deeply studied, contributing to creating a “patient-specific asthma” definition. [...] Read more.
Asthma is a disease that has been described since the times of Hammurabi. However, it is only since the 1960s that effective therapeutic strategies have been available. Pathogenic mechanisms underlying the disease have been deeply studied, contributing to creating a “patient-specific asthma” definition. Biological drugs have been approved over the last twenty years, improving disease management in patients with severe asthma via a “precision medicine-driven approach”. This article aims to describe the evolution of scientific knowledge in childhood asthma, focusing on the most recent biological therapies and their indications for patients with severe asthma. Full article
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11 pages, 2754 KiB  
Article
Enterocins Produced by Enterococci Isolated from Breast-Fed Infants: Antilisterial Potential
by José María Landete, Raquel Montiel, Eva Rodríguez-Mínguez and Juan L. Arqués
Children 2024, 11(2), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020261 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Enterocins are bacteriocins synthesized by Enterococcus strains that show an interesting antimicrobial effectiveness against foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. The objectives of this study were to identify and analyze the expression of enterocin genes of Enterococcus isolated from breast-fed infants and [...] Read more.
Enterocins are bacteriocins synthesized by Enterococcus strains that show an interesting antimicrobial effectiveness against foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. The objectives of this study were to identify and analyze the expression of enterocin genes of Enterococcus isolated from breast-fed infants and evaluate their ability to inhibit three human isolates of virulent L. monocytogenes, as well as some probiotic bacteria. The susceptibility of the strains of L. monocytogenes to fifteen antibiotics was tested, detecting their resistance to cefoxitin (constitutively resistant), oxacillin, and clindamycin. The production of enterocins A, B, and P was observed in Enterococcus faecium isolates, while enterocin AS-48 was detected in an Enterococcus faecalis isolate. AS-48 showed antilisterial activity by itself, while the joint action of enterocins A and B or B and P was necessary for inhibiting L. monocytogenes, demonstrating the synergistic effect of those combinations. The presence of multiple enterocin genes does not assure the inhibition of L. monocytogenes strains. However, the expression of multiple enterocin genes showed a good correlation with the inhibition capacity of these strains. Furthermore, the potential beneficial strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria examined were not inhibited by any of the enterocins produced individually or in combination, with the exception of Bifidobacterium longum BB536, which was inhibited by enterocin AS-48 and the joint production of enterocins A and B or B and P. The enterocins studied here could be candidates for developing alternative treatments against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Moreover, these selected enterocin-producing E. faecium strains isolated from breast-fed infants could be used as probiotic strains due to their antilisterial effect, as well as the absence of virulence factors. Full article
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12 pages, 454 KiB  
Article
Associations among Motor Competence, Physical Activity, Perceived Motor Competence, and Aerobic Fitness in 10–15-Year-Old Youth
by Dawn P. Coe, Emily M. Post, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Jeffrey T. Fairbrother and E. Kipling Webster
Children 2024, 11(2), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020260 - 17 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
(1) Background: The developmental model describes possible mechanisms that could impact the trajectory of children and adolescents’ health behaviors related to obesity; however, few data are available that support this model in the adolescent population. This study investigated the associations among motor competence [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The developmental model describes possible mechanisms that could impact the trajectory of children and adolescents’ health behaviors related to obesity; however, few data are available that support this model in the adolescent population. This study investigated the associations among motor competence (MC), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), perceived motor competence (PMC), and aerobic fitness in children and adolescents and the mediating and moderating effects of PMC, aerobic fitness, and weight status on the MC–MVPA relationship. (2) Methods: Participants included 47 adolescents (12.2 ± 1.6 y; 55% male) who completed the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd Edition (MC), Harter’s perceived self-competency questionnaire (PMC), and the PACER test (aerobic fitness) and whose MVPA was measured via accelerometry. The body mass index (BMI) was calculated from measured height and weight. (3) Results: There were positive correlations between MC and fitness [rs(47) = 0.469, p < 0.01], PMC and fitness [rs(47) = 0.682, p < 0.01], and PMC and MC [rs(47) = 0.416, p < 0.01]. There were no associations among MVPA and MC, PMC, or fitness (p > 0.05). There were inverse associations between BMI and both MVPA [rs(44) = −0.410, p < 0.01] and fitness [rs(47) = 0.295, p < 0.05]. The association between MC and MVPA was mediated by fitness (β = 0.3984; 95% CI (0.0564–0.7985)). (4) Conclusions: The associations among MC, PMC, and fitness highlight the critical role of MC in health and partially support the proposed developmental model concerning the relationships that exist among MC, MVPA, PMC, fitness, and BMI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Competence and Physical Activity in School Children)
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10 pages, 456 KiB  
Article
The Role of Psychological Parental Control and Internalizing Problems in the Etiology of Vigorexia and Orthorexia in Adolescence
by Giulia Carlotta Guerra, Antonio Paone, Francesca Lionetti, Maria Spinelli, Mirco Fasolo and Giulio D’Urso
Children 2024, 11(2), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020259 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
The present study aims to explore the forms of psychological parental control that are interconnected with dysfunctional emotional states (i.e., anxiety and depression), and how these internalizing problems may manifest as distorted behaviors (i.e., vigorexic and orthorexic behaviors) during adolescence. Participants included 403 [...] Read more.
The present study aims to explore the forms of psychological parental control that are interconnected with dysfunctional emotional states (i.e., anxiety and depression), and how these internalizing problems may manifest as distorted behaviors (i.e., vigorexic and orthorexic behaviors) during adolescence. Participants included 403 Italian adolescent athletes (231 boys and 172 girls) aged 14 to 18 years. The participants completed self-report questionnaires designed to assess psychological parental control oriented towards dependence and achievement, anxiety and depression, and vigorexia and orthorexia. The results highlight how both forms of psychological parental control predict anxiety and depression. Furthermore, anxiety was found to be linked to both vigorexic and orthorexic behaviors, while depression is connected only to vigorexia. This study delves into the intricacies of parental influence on adolescents, revealing that both dependency-oriented and success-oriented psychological parental control have notable implications for the mental well-being of adolescents. The findings underscore the interconnectedness of these factors, demonstrating that anxiety can set off a chain reaction, leading to engagement in vigorexic and orthorexic behaviors. On the other hand, depression appears to be uniquely associated with vigorexia. These insights contribute to our understanding of the complex dynamics between parental control and adolescent mental health. The implications of this research extend to both theoretical frameworks and practical interventions, emphasizing the need for a nuanced approach to supporting adolescents in navigating these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
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17 pages, 397 KiB  
Article
Attachment-Based Mentalization Profiles of Iranian Children: A Mixed-Method Approach
by Masoumeh Zandpour, Majse Lind, Carla Sharp, Jafar Hasani, Farzin Bagheri Sheykhangafshe and Jessica L. Borelli
Children 2024, 11(2), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020258 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Mentalization, operationalized as reflective functioning (RF), is the ability to understand one’s own and another’s mental world implicitly or explicitly. RF is a newly discovered research field in Iran and is largely under-studied in Eastern cultures in general, underscoring the high need for [...] Read more.
Mentalization, operationalized as reflective functioning (RF), is the ability to understand one’s own and another’s mental world implicitly or explicitly. RF is a newly discovered research field in Iran and is largely under-studied in Eastern cultures in general, underscoring the high need for cross-cultural studies in this field of research. A qualitative method was used to examine the ability to understand, process, and respond to high-arousal attachment situations in typical and clinical populations of Iranian children recruited from a Tehran primary school. A well-known semi-structured interview commonly used to assess RF in children was used to collect data. Required information on internalizing and externalizing symptoms, demographic information, and all formal diagnoses of children were collected by parents. The results indicated the identification of four different profiles of RF in children, one of which was adaptive, while the other three were maladaptive. Also, the results showed that typically developing children and those having a high social and economic status (SES) were characterized as having a more adaptive profile of RF, while children from the clinical population and those with a low SES reported a more maladaptive profile (passive mentalizing, helpless mentalizing, narcissistic mentalizing) of RF. The present study is an important step in increasing our understanding of the development of mentalization in children and has significant educational and clinical implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mental Health and Well-Being in Children)
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21 pages, 2479 KiB  
Systematic Review
Bone Deformities through the Prism of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health in Ambulant Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review
by Rodolphe Bailly, Christelle Pons, Anne-Charlotte Haes, Lisa Nguyen, Matthias Thepaut, Laëtitia Houx, Mathieu Lempereur and Sylvain Brochard
Children 2024, 11(2), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020257 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
(1) Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between lower limb bone deformities and body functions, activity, and participation in ambulant children with CP and whether changing bone morphology affects outcomes in these domains. (2) Methods: A systematic literature [...] Read more.
(1) Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between lower limb bone deformities and body functions, activity, and participation in ambulant children with CP and whether changing bone morphology affects outcomes in these domains. (2) Methods: A systematic literature search (PROSPERO CRD42020208416) of studies reporting correlations between measures of lower limb bone deformities and measures of body function, activity or participation, or post-surgical outcomes in these domains was conducted from 1990 to 2023 in Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library. We assessed study quality with the Checklist for Case Series (CCS) and a quality assessment developed by Quebec University Hospital. Meta-analysis was not possible; therefore, descriptive synthesis was performed. (3) Results: A total of 12 of 3373 screened articles were included. No studies evaluated the relationships between bone deformities and activity or participation, or the effect of isolated bone surgery on these domains. Correlations between bone deformities and body functions were poor-to-moderate. Internal hip rotation during gait improved after femoral derotation osteotomy. (4) Conclusions: A shift in paradigm is urgently required for the research and management of bone deformities in children with CP to include the activity and participation domains of the ICF, as well as consider more psychological aspects such as self-image. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Gait Analysis in Children: Progress and Relevance)
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17 pages, 2794 KiB  
Review
Paediatric Thoracic Imaging in Cystic Fibrosis in the Era of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Modulation
by Patrick W. O’Regan, Niamh E. Stevens, Niamh Logan, David J. Ryan and Michael M. Maher
Children 2024, 11(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020256 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common progressive life-shortening genetic conditions worldwide. Ground-breaking translational research has generated therapies that target the primary cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) defect, known as CFTR modulators. A crucial aspect of paediatric CF disease is [...] Read more.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common progressive life-shortening genetic conditions worldwide. Ground-breaking translational research has generated therapies that target the primary cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) defect, known as CFTR modulators. A crucial aspect of paediatric CF disease is the development and progression of irreversible respiratory disease in the absence of clinical symptoms. Accurate thoracic diagnostics have an important role to play in this regard. Chest radiographs are non-specific and insensitive in the context of subtle changes in early CF disease, with computed tomography (CT) providing increased sensitivity. Recent advancements in imaging hardware and software have allowed thoracic CTs to be acquired in paediatric patients at radiation doses approaching that of a chest radiograph. CFTR modulators slow the progression of CF, reduce the frequency of exacerbations and extend life expectancy. In conjunction with advances in CT imaging techniques, low-dose thorax CT will establish a central position in the routine care of children with CF. International guidelines regarding the choice of modality and timing of thoracic imaging in children with CF are lagging behind these rapid technological advances. The continued progress of personalised medicine in the form of CFTR modulators will promote the emergence of personalised radiological diagnostics. Full article
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9 pages, 223 KiB  
Article
The Potential Coexistence of Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases and Pediatric Vulvar Lichen sclerosus
by Agnieszka Dulska, Jakub Bodziony, Marta Janik and Agnieszka Drosdzol-Cop
Children 2024, 11(2), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020255 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Introduction: Vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS), a chronic inflammatory skin disorder, often coexists with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). VLS presents with subtle symptoms including vulvar itching and discomfort. Clinically, a “Figure 8” pattern involving the labia minora, clitoral hood, and perianal region is often [...] Read more.
Introduction: Vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS), a chronic inflammatory skin disorder, often coexists with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). VLS presents with subtle symptoms including vulvar itching and discomfort. Clinically, a “Figure 8” pattern involving the labia minora, clitoral hood, and perianal region is often observed. It is prevalent both in pre-pubertal girls and women aged 40–60, and the link between VLS and AITD remains unclear, with proposed causes including autoimmune, hormonal or genetic factors, and environmental triggers. This study addresses the lack of research on the association in children, aiming to investigate the largest group of underage girls to date. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the coexistence of thyroid autoimmune diseases in girls diagnosed with vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS) and to assess the presence of antibodies for specific thyroid autoimmune diseases. Materials and Methods: Our study was conducted from July 2020 to February 2021, involving a sample of 55 girls aged 2–18 years old, all free from systemic diseases. The study group comprised 20 girls previously diagnosed with vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS), while the control group included 35 girls without VLS. Legal guardians completed questionnaires detailing the medical history of their children. Blood samples were collected from all participants and subjected to biochemical analysis. The presence of human IgG antibodies against thyroid peroxidase and IgG antibodies against thyroglobulin was assessed using the immunoenzymatic method with commercially available ELISA kits. Results: In the study group, common symptoms included itching, soreness, burning sensation, excoriation, and erythema or pallor of the skin and perineal mucosa. An evaluation of anti-thyroglobulin and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies revealed no statistical significance between the study and control groups (anti-TG p = 0.379, anti-TPO p = 0.96). Family history of autoimmune diseases showed no significant correlation with anti-thyroid antibodies in girls. Although no significant relation between VLS occurrence and antibody levels was found, it emphasizes the need for multidisciplinary medical care. Further research with larger patient groups is necessary. Full article
12 pages, 774 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Effect of Sports Game Intervention on Children’s Fundamental Motor Skills: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Shengchuan Sun and Changzhou Chen
Children 2024, 11(2), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020254 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to carry out a systematic review and a meta-analysis determining the effects of sports game intervention on fundamental motor skills in children. This paper presented a systematic review from 2001 to 2020, including the databases of [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to carry out a systematic review and a meta-analysis determining the effects of sports game intervention on fundamental motor skills in children. This paper presented a systematic review from 2001 to 2020, including the databases of Web of Science, EBSCO, Science, PubMed and Springer. (1) Participants comprised 1701 children age 3–12 years; (2) sports game interventions were investigated; (3) only studies using a Test of Gross Motor Skills assessment were included; (4) RCT were chosen as the study design to assess the impact of sports game interventions on children’s motor skills; (5) only culture-based sports game studies in the English and Chinese language were included. Two researchers independently reviewed and assessed the eligibility criteria. Out of the initial 1826 references, 12 studies with a total of 1608 participants were included in the meta-analysis. All interventions were implemented in preschool (kindergarten) or primary school populations, and all studies followed a randomized controlled trial design. The results demonstrated significantly superior development of fundamental motor skills in the intervention groups compared to the control groups (standardized mean difference = 0.30, p < 0.0001). The methodological quality of the included studies ranged from fair to excellent, and no evidence of publication bias was observed. Among them, the 12-week sports game intervention of 35 min each time three to four times a week had a better intervention effect, promoting children’s physical health and fundamental motor skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Physical Activity and Health)
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11 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Giftedness and Sex and Children’s Theory of Mind Skills and Social Behavior
by Abdullah Bozkurt and Zekai Ayık
Children 2024, 11(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020253 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 963
Abstract
Background: Theory of mind (ToM), the ability to recognize the mental states and emotions of others, is central to effective social relationships. Measuring higher-order ToM skills in gifted children may be a useful way to identify the tendency to experience difficulties in social [...] Read more.
Background: Theory of mind (ToM), the ability to recognize the mental states and emotions of others, is central to effective social relationships. Measuring higher-order ToM skills in gifted children may be a useful way to identify the tendency to experience difficulties in social behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between intelligence and sex in children using ToM and social behavior measures. Methods: Children aged 10–12 years constituted both the gifted (n = 45) and non-gifted (n = 45) groups. The participants were assessed for prosocial behaviors and peer problems using the subscales of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire and in terms of ToM using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test-Child Version (RMET-C) and the Faux Pas Recognition Test-Child Version (FPRT-C). Results: ToM test results were higher in gifted children and girls. Peer problems were lower in gifted children. Prosocial behavior was higher in girls. No relationship was determined between ToM tests and peer problems or prosocial behavior in gifted children, but such a relationship was observed in the non-gifted group. Conclusions: This study shows that gifted children with high cognitive skills also possess superior social cognition skills. Advanced ToM skills in gifted children may be important to supporting their social and cognitive development. The differences between boys and girls should be considered in educational interventions applied to children in the social sphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
10 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
Differences in Motor Development between Preterm Infants and Full-Term Preschool Children
by Alicia Cuesta-Gómez, Pilar Fernández-González, María Carratalá-Tejada and Inmaculada Aguilar-Bejines
Children 2024, 11(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020252 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Although advances in obstetric and neonatal care have improved the survival of preterm infants, many studies document the increased risk of motor and sensory neurodevelopmental abnormalities that can hinder school progress. The aim of this study was to analyze the differences in gross [...] Read more.
Although advances in obstetric and neonatal care have improved the survival of preterm infants, many studies document the increased risk of motor and sensory neurodevelopmental abnormalities that can hinder school progress. The aim of this study was to analyze the differences in gross and fine motor development in children born preterm and full term aged 3 to 6 years using the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales 2 (PDMS-II). Fifteen preterm and fifteen term children, matched for age and sex, participated in this study. They were evaluated with the PDMS-II scale. The scores obtained in the PDMS-II scale showed statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in all subscales except for the “grasping” subscale. No dissimilarities were found between children who attended an early intervention program and those who did not participate, nor was there any correlation between week of gestation and birth weight and motor development in preschool. The results obtained show that differences are found with respect to motor development, with lower scores for those born preterm compared to children born at term. No statistically significant difference was found between preterm children who attended early intervention and those who did not. No correlation was found between motor development at preschool age and birth weight and gestational age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Development in Children)
11 pages, 1520 KiB  
Article
Safety Assessment of Prolonged Nerve Catheters in Pediatric Trauma Patients: A Case Series Study
by Nicole Verdecchia, Alexander Praslick and Mihaela Visoiu
Children 2024, 11(2), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020251 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Introduction: Nerve block catheters (NBCs) are increasingly used for pain management in pediatric trauma patients. While short-term efficacy has been well established, the long-term safety of NBCs is unknown. Methods/Cases: The retrospective chart review includes a cohort of nine pediatric trauma patients aged [...] Read more.
Introduction: Nerve block catheters (NBCs) are increasingly used for pain management in pediatric trauma patients. While short-term efficacy has been well established, the long-term safety of NBCs is unknown. Methods/Cases: The retrospective chart review includes a cohort of nine pediatric trauma patients aged 3–15 years who received 52 peripheral nerve block catheters and epidurals for pain management. This study aimed to investigate the potential risks associated with the prolonged use of NBCs in pediatric trauma cases. Results: The NBCs (48 peripheral catheters and 4 epidural catheters) were maintained for about 2 weeks. The number of catheters per patient varied from 1 to 11. The study noted a low frequency of catheter-related complications. No catheter-site infection or local anesthetic toxicity symptoms were reported. Discussion: These findings suggest that NBCs can be safely maintained for extended periods in pediatric trauma patients without significantly increasing complications. Careful monitoring and adherence to infection control practices remain paramount when implementing extended catheter use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-Art in Pediatric Anesthesia)
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15 pages, 548 KiB  
Review
Diet and Lipid-Lowering Nutraceuticals in Pediatric Patients with Familial Hypercholesterolemia
by Maria Elena Capra, Giacomo Biasucci, Giuseppe Banderali, Andrea Vania and Cristina Pederiva
Children 2024, 11(2), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020250 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1347
Abstract
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetically determined disease characterized by elevated plasma total and LDL cholesterol levels from the very first years of life, leading to early atherosclerosis. Nutritional intervention is the first-line treatment, complemented with nutraceuticals and drug therapy when necessary. Nutraceuticals with [...] Read more.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetically determined disease characterized by elevated plasma total and LDL cholesterol levels from the very first years of life, leading to early atherosclerosis. Nutritional intervention is the first-line treatment, complemented with nutraceuticals and drug therapy when necessary. Nutraceuticals with a lipid-lowering effect have been extensively studied in the past few decades, and have been recently included in international guidelines as a complement to nutritional and pharmacological treatment in subjects with dyslipidemia. In this review, we explore current nutritional interventions for dyslipidemia in childhood, with a specific focus on the main nutraceuticals studied for treating severe dyslipidemia in pediatric patients. Additionally, we briefly describe their primary mechanisms of action and highlight the advantages and risks associated with the use of lipid-lowering nutraceuticals in childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic and Nutritional Diseases in Children)
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10 pages, 490 KiB  
Article
Lactoferrin in the Prevention of Recurrent Respiratory Infections in Preschool Children: A Prospective Randomized Study
by Angela Pasinato, Mario Fama, Giovanni Tripepi, Colin Gerard Egan and Eugenio Baraldi
Children 2024, 11(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020249 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Few studies have evaluated the effect of bovine lactoferrin (bLf) on reducing respiratory infections in preschool children. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effect of bLf in preschool children with recurrent respiratory infections. Participants were randomly assigned bLf (n = 25) or control [...] Read more.
Few studies have evaluated the effect of bovine lactoferrin (bLf) on reducing respiratory infections in preschool children. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effect of bLf in preschool children with recurrent respiratory infections. Participants were randomly assigned bLf (n = 25) or control (n = 25). Outcomes included respiratory infection episodes (RIEs), symptom duration, school absence and medication. Fifty children aged 4.2 ± 0.1 years were included. During the active 4-month phase, median number of RIEs was reduced by 50% in the bLf group [1-episode, interquartile range (IQR): 0–2] vs. control (2, IQR: 1–3; p = 0.02). The proportion of participants with >3 RIEs was significantly lower in bLf (n = 1, 4%) vs. control (n = 7, 28%) with 80% lower odds of upper RIEs in the bLf arm (odds ratio: 0.20, 95% CI:0.06–0.74, p = 0.015). The duration of symptoms (3 vs. 6, p = 0.009) and days absent from school (3 vs. 6, p = 0.15) were lower in the active arm. Over the 2-month follow-up, no significant differences were observed between groups for infection episodes, symptom duration or school absence. However, bLf-treated children received significantly less corticosteroids over the entire 6-month study period (32% vs. 60%; p = 0.047). bLf supplementation significantly reduced the frequency and duration of RIEs in children with decreased corticosteroid use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Infectious Diseases)
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12 pages, 834 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infections in Children with Hematuria in the Emergency Department
by Bei-Cyuan Guo, Chun-Yu Chen, Wun-Yan Huang, Wen-Ya Lin, Ying-Ju Chen, Tai-An Lee, Mao-Jen Lin and Han-Ping Wu
Children 2024, 11(2), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020248 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Introduction: Hematuria is a worrisome symptom in children and is sometimes associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs). This study aimed to identify useful clinical factors that can predict UTIs in hematuria patients without pyuria in the pediatric emergency department (ED). Methods: We retrospectively [...] Read more.
Introduction: Hematuria is a worrisome symptom in children and is sometimes associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs). This study aimed to identify useful clinical factors that can predict UTIs in hematuria patients without pyuria in the pediatric emergency department (ED). Methods: We retrospectively recruited patients with hematuria from the pediatric ED. Clinical symptoms, urine biochemistry and microscopic examination results, and blood laboratory tests were analyzed to identify the predictors of UTIs. Patients were divided into the verbal group (age ≥ 2 years) and non-verbal group (age < 2 years) for identifying predictors of UTIs. Causes of hematuria were also investigated. Results: A total of 161 patients with hematuria without pyuria were evaluated. Among symptoms, dysuria was significantly correlated with UTIs. Regarding urine biochemistry data, urine esterase and urine protein > 30 mg/dl were found to be significant parameters for predicting UTIs, while urine esterase and urine nitrite showed significant differences in children with age < 2 years. In the urine microscopic examinations, urine red blood cells (RBC) > 373/µL in children aged ≥ 2 years and urine RBC > 8/µL in children aged < 2 years were associated with UTIs. In addition, UTIs and urinary tract stones were found to be the top two causes of hematuria. Conclusions: Dysuria, urine esterase, urine nitrite, and urine protein may be useful parameters for predicting UTIs in pediatric patients with hematuria but no pyuria in the ED. In addition, a UTI was the most commonly identified etiology of hematuria without pyuria, followed by urinary tract stones. Full article
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14 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
A Multisource Process Evaluation of a Community-Based Healthy Lifestyle Programme for Child and Adolescent Obesity
by Yvonne C. Anderson, Cervantée E. K. Wild, Catherine A. Gilchrist, Paul L. Hofman, Tami L. Cave, Tania Domett, Wayne S. Cutfield, José G. B. Derraik and Cameron C. Grant
Children 2024, 11(2), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020247 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 995
Abstract
Whānau Pakari is a healthy lifestyle assessment and intervention programme for children and adolescents with obesity in Taranaki (Aotearoa/New Zealand), which, in this region, replaced the nationally funded Green Prescription Active Families (GRxAF) programme. We compared national referral rates from the GRxAF programme [...] Read more.
Whānau Pakari is a healthy lifestyle assessment and intervention programme for children and adolescents with obesity in Taranaki (Aotearoa/New Zealand), which, in this region, replaced the nationally funded Green Prescription Active Families (GRxAF) programme. We compared national referral rates from the GRxAF programme (age 5–15 years) and the B4 School Check (B4SC, a national preschool health and development assessment) with referral rates in Taranaki from Whānau Pakari. We retrospectively analysed 5 years of clinical data (2010–2015), comparing referral rates before, during, and after the Whānau Pakari clinical trial, which was embedded within the programme. We also surveyed programme referrers and stakeholders about their experiences of Whānau Pakari, analysing their responses using a multiple-methods framework. After the Whānau Pakari trial commenced, Taranaki GRxAF referral rates increased markedly (2.3 pretrial to 7.2 per 1000 person-years), while NZ rates were largely unchanged (1.8–1.9 per 1000 person-years) (p < 0.0001 for differences during the trial). Post-trial, Taranaki GRxAF referral rates remained higher irrespective of ethnicity, being 1.8 to 3.2 times the national rates (p < 0.001). Taranaki B4SC referrals for obesity were nearly complete at 99% in the last trial year and 100% post-trial, compared with national rates threefold lower (31% and 32%, respectively; p < 0.0001), with Taranaki referral rates for extreme obesity sustained at 80% and exceeding national rates for both periods (58% and 62%, respectively; p < 0.01). Notably, a referral was 50% more likely for referrers who attended a Whānau Pakari training half-day (RR = 1.51; p = 0.009). Stakeholders credited the success of Whānau Pakari to its multidisciplinary team, family-centred approach, and home-based assessments. However, they highlighted challenges such as navigating multidisciplinary collaboration, engaging with families with complex needs, and shifting conventional healthcare practices. Given its favourable referral trends and stakeholder endorsement, Whānau Pakari appears to be a viable contemporary model for an accessible and culturally appropriate intervention on a national and potentially international scale. Full article
12 pages, 1755 KiB  
Review
Recurrent Respiratory Infections in Children with Down Syndrome: A Review
by Michele Ghezzi, Nicolò Garancini, Raffaella De Santis, Laura Gianolio, Salvatore Zirpoli, Anna Mandelli, Andrea Farolfi, Enza D’Auria and Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti
Children 2024, 11(2), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020246 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1897
Abstract
Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal abnormality compatible with life. The life of patients suffering from DS can be strongly impacted by Recurrent Respiratory tract Infections (RRIs), leading to an increased rate of hospitalisation, a higher need for intensive care and [...] Read more.
Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal abnormality compatible with life. The life of patients suffering from DS can be strongly impacted by Recurrent Respiratory tract Infections (RRIs), leading to an increased rate of hospitalisation, a higher need for intensive care and fatality. With a literature review, we summarise here the main etiological factors for RRI in this category of patients, particularly focusing on airway malformations such as tracheomalacia, tracheal bronchus and bronchomalacia, comorbidities associated with the syndrome, like congenital heart diseases, dysphagia, gastroesophageal reflux, musculoskeletal involvement and obesity, and immunologic impairments, involving both innate and adaptive immunity. For these patients, a multidisciplinary approach is imperative as well as some preventive strategies, in particular vaccinations in accordance with their national schedule for immunization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on Lung Function, Respiratory and Asthma Disease in Children)
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10 pages, 547 KiB  
Brief Report
Multiplex PCR and Antibiotic Use in Children with Community-Acquired Pneumonia
by Teresa del Rosal, Patricia Bote-Gascón, Iker Falces-Romero, Talía Sainz, Fernando Baquero-Artigao, Paula Rodríguez-Molino, Ana Méndez-Echevarría, Blanca Bravo-Queipo-de-Llano, Luis A. Alonso and Cristina Calvo
Children 2024, 11(2), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020245 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Antibiotics are frequently prescribed to children with pneumonia, although viruses are responsible for most cases. We aimed to evaluate the impact of multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) on antibiotic use. We conducted a prospective study of children under 14 years of age admitted [...] Read more.
Antibiotics are frequently prescribed to children with pneumonia, although viruses are responsible for most cases. We aimed to evaluate the impact of multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) on antibiotic use. We conducted a prospective study of children under 14 years of age admitted for suspected viral pneumonia, from October 2019 to June 2022 (except March–November 2020). A mPCR respiratory panel (FilmArray® 2plus, bioMérieux, Marcy-l’Étoile, France) was performed within 72 h of admission. Patients with positive reverse transcription PCR for respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, or SARS-CoV-2 were excluded. We compared the patients with historical controls (2017–2018) who had suspected viral pneumonia but did not undergo an aetiological study. We included 64 patients and 50 controls, with a median age of 26 months. The respiratory panel detected viral pathogens in 55 patients (88%), including 17 (31%) with co-infections. Rhinovirus/enterovirus (n = 26) and human metapneumovirus (n = 22) were the most common pathogens, followed by adenovirus and parainfluenza (n = 10). There were no statistically significant differences in the total antibiotic consumption (83% of cases and 86% of controls) or antibiotics given for ≥72 h (58% vs. 66%). Antibiotics were prescribed in 41% of the cases and 72% of the controls at discharge (p = 0.001). Ampicillin was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic among the patients (44% vs. 18% for controls, p = 0.004), while azithromycin was the most commonly prescribed among the controls (19% vs. 48% for patients and controls, respectively; p = 0.001). Our findings underscore the need for additional interventions alongside molecular diagnosis to reduce antibiotic usage in paediatric community-acquired pneumonia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Management and Use of Pediatric Antimicrobials)
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19 pages, 861 KiB  
Review
Metabolic Dysfunction–Associated Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD) and Thyroid Function in Childhood Obesity: A Vicious Circle?
by Valeria Calcaterra, Irene Degrassi, Silvia Taranto, Cecilia Porro, Alice Bianchi, Sara L’assainato, Giustino Simone Silvestro, Antonia Quatrale and Gianvincenzo Zuccotti
Children 2024, 11(2), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020244 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1202
Abstract
Metabolic dysfunction–associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a multisystem disorder characterized by the presence of fatty liver degeneration associated with excess adiposity or prediabetes/type 2 diabetes or metabolic dysregulation. An intricate relationship between the liver and thyroid has been reported in both health [...] Read more.
Metabolic dysfunction–associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a multisystem disorder characterized by the presence of fatty liver degeneration associated with excess adiposity or prediabetes/type 2 diabetes or metabolic dysregulation. An intricate relationship between the liver and thyroid has been reported in both health and disease. Simultaneously, there is a strong correlation between obesity and both MAFLD and thyroid dysfunction. In this narrative review, we highlighted the relationship between MAFLD and thyroid function in children and adolescents with obesity in order to explore how thyroid hormones (THs) act as predisposing factors in the onset, progression, and sustainability of MAFLD. THs are integral to the intricate balance of metabolic activities, ensuring energy homeostasis, and are indispensable for growth and development. Regarding liver homeostasis, THs have been suggested to interact with liver lipid homeostasis through a series of processes, including stimulating the entry of free fatty acids into the liver for esterification into triglycerides and increasing mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acids to impact hepatic lipid accumulation. The literature supports a correlation between MAFLD and obesity, THs and obesity, and MAFLD and THs; however, results in the pediatric population are very limited. Even though the underlying pathogenic mechanism involved in the relationship between MAFLD and thyroid function remains not fully elucidated, the role of THs as predisposing factors of MAFLD could be postulated. A potential vicious circle among these three conditions cannot be excluded. Identifying novel elements that may contribute to MAFLD could offer a practical approach to assessing children at risk of developing the condition. Full article
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15 pages, 542 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Postural Control, Balance, and Mobility in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Comparative Analysis of Independent and Integrated Effects of Pilates and Plyometrics
by Ragab K. Elnaggar, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Alshimaa R. Azab, Saud M. Alrawaili, Mshari Alghadier, Mazyad A. Alotaibi, Ahmed S. Alhowimel, Mohamed S. Abdrabo, Mohammed F. Elbanna, Ahmed M. Aboeleneen and Walaa E. Morsy
Children 2024, 11(2), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020243 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1249
Abstract
The paradigm of comprehensive treatment approaches for children with cerebral palsy has gained traction, prompting clinicians to deliberate between independent and integrated treatment delivery. However, this decision-making process is often hindered by the dearth of empirical evidence available to inform optimal therapeutic strategies. [...] Read more.
The paradigm of comprehensive treatment approaches for children with cerebral palsy has gained traction, prompting clinicians to deliberate between independent and integrated treatment delivery. However, this decision-making process is often hindered by the dearth of empirical evidence available to inform optimal therapeutic strategies. This study, therefore, sought to compare the effects of Pilates-based core strengthening (PsCS), plyometric-based muscle loading (PlyoML), and their combination on postural control, balance, and mobility in children with unilateral cerebral palsy (ULCP). Eighty-one children with ULCP (age: 12–18 years) were randomized to PsCS (n = 27), PlyoML (n = 27), or a combined intervention (n = 27; equated for total sets/repetitions) group. The three interventions were applied twice/week over 12 successive weeks. Postural control (directional and overall limits of stability—LoS), balance, and mobility (Community Balance and Mobility Scale—CB&M; Functional Walking Test—FWT; Timed Up and Down Stair test—TUDS) were assessed pre- and post-intervention. The combined group exhibited greater increases in directional LoS compared to PsCS and PlyoML including the backward (p = 0.006 and 0.033, respectively), forward (p = 0.015 and 0.036, respectively), paretic (p = 0.017 and 0.018, respectively), and non-paretic directions (p = 0.006 and 0.004, respectively)], and this was also the case for overall LoS (p < 0.001 versus PsCS and PlyoML). In addition, the combined group displayed greater improvements compared to the PsCS and PlyoML groups regarding CB&M (p = 0.037 and p = 0.002, respectively), FWT (p = 0.012 and p = 0.038, respectively), and TUDS (p = 0.046 and p = 0.021, respectively). In conclusion, the combined PsCS and PlyoML exercise program promotes considerably greater improvements in postural control, balance, and mobility compared to unimodal training in children with ULCP. Full article
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8 pages, 608 KiB  
Essay
NICU Language, Everyday Ethics, and Giving Better News: Optimizing Discussions about Disability with Families
by Paige Terrien Church, Maya Dahan, Amy Rule, Annie Janvier, Jane E. Stewart, John S. Maypole, Darcy Fehlings, Jonathan S. Litt and Rudaina Banihani
Children 2024, 11(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020242 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1302
Abstract
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has a language and culture that is its own. For professionals, it is a place of intense and constant attention to microdetails and cautious optimism. For parents, it is a foreign place with a new and unique [...] Read more.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has a language and culture that is its own. For professionals, it is a place of intense and constant attention to microdetails and cautious optimism. For parents, it is a foreign place with a new and unique language and culture. It is also the setting in which they are introduced to their child and parenthood for this child. This combination has been referred to as an emotional cauldron. The neonatal ethics literature mainly examines complex ethical dilemmas about withholding/drawing life sustaining interventions for fragile children. Rarely are everyday ethics or mundane ethics discussed. Microethics describe the mundane, discrete moments that occur between patients/families and clinicians. A key piece of these microethics is the language used to discuss patient care. Perception of prognoses, particularly around long-term neurodevelopmental outcome, is shaped with the language used. Despite this, clinicians in the NICU often have no specific training in the long-term neurodevelopment outcomes that they discuss. This paper focuses on the microethics of language used to discuss long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes, the developmental neuroscience behind language processing, and offers recommendations for more accurate and improved communication around long-term outcomes with families with critically ill neonates. Full article
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22 pages, 1498 KiB  
Systematic Review
Do Hormone Levels Influence Bullying during Childhood and Adolescence? A Systematic Review of the Literature
by Izaro Babarro, Ane Arregi, Ainara Andiarena, Nerea Lertxundi, Oscar Vegas and Jesus Ibarluzea
Children 2024, 11(2), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020241 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1384
Abstract
(1) Background: Bullying is one of the most common forms of aggressive behavior during childhood and adolescence. Some decades ago, researchers began exploring the basis of peer victimization from a biological perspective. Specifically, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axes have been studied [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Bullying is one of the most common forms of aggressive behavior during childhood and adolescence. Some decades ago, researchers began exploring the basis of peer victimization from a biological perspective. Specifically, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axes have been studied in relation to status-relevant behaviors, such as bullying. (2) Methods: We conducted a systematic review following the PRISMA guide and registered the review protocol at PROSPERO (CRD42023494738). We searched for relevant studies in PubMed, Psycinfo, Scopus, and Web of Science, and assessed them using the Robins E-tool. (3) Results: Our search yielded 152 studies, of which 33 were included in the review. These studies explored the association between testosterone and cortisol levels with bullying behavior, finding diverse results. Most of the studies were rated as having a low risk of bias. (4) Conclusions: This study not only enhances our understanding of bullying, but also provides guidance for the development of prevention and management programs for it. In the future, researchers should continue exploring the joint effects of different hormones on the HPA and HPG axis, using a broader set of biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue School Bullying during Childhood and Adolescence: 2nd Edition)
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12 pages, 1517 KiB  
Article
Integrating Artificial Intelligence in Pediatric Healthcare: Parental Perceptions and Ethical Implications
by Elena Camelia Berghea, Marcela Daniela Ionescu, Radu Marian Gheorghiu, Iulia Florentina Tincu, Claudia Oana Cobilinschi, Mihai Craiu, Mihaela Bălgrădean and Florian Berghea
Children 2024, 11(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020240 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1488
Abstract
Background: Our study aimed to explore the way artificial intelligence (AI) utilization is perceived in pediatric medicine, examining its acceptance among patients (in this case represented by their adult parents), and identify the challenges it presents in order to understand the factors influencing [...] Read more.
Background: Our study aimed to explore the way artificial intelligence (AI) utilization is perceived in pediatric medicine, examining its acceptance among patients (in this case represented by their adult parents), and identify the challenges it presents in order to understand the factors influencing its adoption in clinical settings. Methods: A structured questionnaire was applied to caregivers (parents or grandparents) of children who presented in tertiary pediatric clinics. Results: The most significant differentiations were identified in relation to the level of education (e.g., aversion to AI involvement was 22.2% among those with postgraduate degrees, 43.9% among those with university degrees, and 54.5% among those who only completed high school). The greatest fear among respondents regarding the medical use of AI was related to the possibility of errors occurring (70.1%). Conclusions: The general attitude toward the use of AI can be considered positive, provided that it remains human-supervised, and that the technology used is explained in detail by the physician. However, there were large differences among groups (mainly defined by education level) in the way AI is perceived and accepted. Full article
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16 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Demographic Characteristics on Parenting Stress among Parents of Children with Disabilities: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Maxi Scheibner, Cora Scheibner, Frauke Hornemann, Maria Arélin, Yvonne Doris Hennig, Henriette Kiep, Ulrike Wurst, Andreas Merkenschlager and Janina Gburek-Augustat
Children 2024, 11(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020239 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Even though it is already known that parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities experience higher parenting stress than families of typically developing children, the contributing factors need to be analyzed in more detail. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to [...] Read more.
Even though it is already known that parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities experience higher parenting stress than families of typically developing children, the contributing factors need to be analyzed in more detail. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the influence of demographic characteristics on parenting stress from caring for a disabled child and to identify possible protective or additional stressful social factors. A total of 611 mothers and fathers of children with developmental delays, chronic diseases, or disabilities completed two questionnaires during their medical appointments at the Children’s Development Center (CDC) of Leipzig University Hospital between June 2020 and February 2021. These consisted of the German versions of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) and the Impact on Family Scale (IOFS). To determine differences between the various groups, we used parametric and non-parametric tests. Mothers and single parents are significantly more strained than fathers and non-single parents. Parents with vocational training, those who graduated with a higher-level diploma, and those within employment report a higher financial burden. While unemployed and full-time workers experience the lowest stress, parents who work part-time or exclusively take care of their child show higher levels of stress. Looking at the age of the child, parents of children of young primary school age are the most stressed, and those of infants are the least stressed. These findings suggest that mothers and single parents especially should receive more support, and parents need to be provided with more attention during their child’s entry into school. Possible limitations and the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
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11 pages, 753 KiB  
Review
Exploring Interleukin Levels in Type 1 Diabetes and Periodontitis: A Review with a Focus on Childhood
by Silvia D’Agostino, Giulia Valentini and Marco Dolci
Children 2024, 11(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020238 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 942
Abstract
Diabetes can trigger an increase in cytokine levels leading to the production of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. These molecules promote subclinical inflammation, causing the expression of adhesive molecules and endothelial dysfunction. Despite the lack of a comprehensive panel for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for [...] Read more.
Diabetes can trigger an increase in cytokine levels leading to the production of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. These molecules promote subclinical inflammation, causing the expression of adhesive molecules and endothelial dysfunction. Despite the lack of a comprehensive panel for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for interleukins associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), understanding the inflammatory role of SNPs is crucial because periodontitis, the sixth complication of diabetes, is influenced via these genetic variations. This review focuses on the interleukin levels in T1DM patients with and without periodontitis, with a particular focus on childhood and on SNPs when reported. A search of PubMed and Scopus identified 21 relevant studies from the past five years. Several ILs were analyzed, emphasizing that T1DM still needs to be thoroughly explored regarding an IL polymorphisms panel; however, the last five years have led to the increased independence of this condition, causing autonomous inflammatory effects, which require further investigation. The periodontitis and T1DM association in children and adolescents represents a severe gap in the literature that should be filled; this scarce presence of studies serves as motivation for further clinical research. Full article
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11 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Clinical Characteristics and Quality of Life in a Cohort of Polish Pediatric Patients with Hereditary Angioedema
by Katarzyna Piotrowicz-Wójcik, Malgorzata Bulanda, Ewa Czarnobilska and Grzegorz Porebski
Children 2024, 11(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020237 - 13 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disease. It is characterized by recurrent attacks of angioedema. Evidence to what extent it affects patient functioning is limited in the pediatric population. We aimed to determine the clinical characteristics and management of Polish children with [...] Read more.
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disease. It is characterized by recurrent attacks of angioedema. Evidence to what extent it affects patient functioning is limited in the pediatric population. We aimed to determine the clinical characteristics and management of Polish children with HAE and to measure the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of these patients. This cross-sectional study was conducted among 21 pediatric patients and their caregivers, as well as 21 respective controls randomly selected from the general population. During routine follow-up visits, standardized pediatric quality of life questionnaires (PedsQLTM 4.0) were administered to all caregivers and adolescents (≥13 years). Caregivers also completed a structured medical interview regarding the clinical characteristics and treatment of children with HAE during the previous six months. During this period, 57% of patients had low (group I), 24% moderate (group II), and 19% high (group III) HAE activity, corresponding to ≥10 attacks per 6 months. None of the patients received long-term prophylaxis. The children in group III had a lower HRQoL than other groups and controls on all dimensions of the PedsQLTM 4.0. The lowest scores in all groups were observed in the emotional functioning domain. Our data demonstrate that the burden of HAE on the quality of life of pediatric patients and their families encompasses a wide range of daily functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Allergy and Immunology)
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9 pages, 610 KiB  
Article
Step by Step: Evaluation of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Healthy Children, Young Adults, and Patients with Congenital Heart Disease Using a Simple Standardized Stair Climbing Test
by Maurice Pablo Mall, Johanna Wander, Anne Lentz, André Jakob, Felix Sebastian Oberhoffer, Guido Mandilaras, Nikolaus Alexander Haas and Simone Katrin Dold
Children 2024, 11(2), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020236 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1141
Abstract
(1) Background: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is known to be a prognostic factor regarding long-term morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to develop a standardized Stair Climbing Test (SCT) with a reliable correlation to spiroergometry and the 6MWT which can be used in healthy [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is known to be a prognostic factor regarding long-term morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to develop a standardized Stair Climbing Test (SCT) with a reliable correlation to spiroergometry and the 6MWT which can be used in healthy children as well as patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) and a restricted exercise capacity. (2) Methods: A total of 28 healthy participants aged 10–18 years were included. We tested the individuals’ CRF by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) on a treadmill, the 6MWT, and a newly developed Stair Climbing Test (SCT). For the SCT, we defined a standardized SCT protocol with a total height of 13.14 m to achieve maximal exercise effects while recording time and vital parameters. To compare the SCT, the 6 Min Walking Test, and CPET, we introduced an SCT-Index that included patient data (weight, height) and time. To assess the SCT’s feasibility for clinical practice, we also tested our protocol with five adolescents with complex congenital heart disease (i.e., Fontan circulation). (3) Results: A strong correlation was observed between SCT-Index and O2 pulse (r = 0.921; p < 0.001). In addition, when comparing the time achieved during SCT (tSCT) with VO2max (mL/min/kg) and VO2max (mL/min), strong correlations were found (r = −0.672; p < 0.001 and r = −0.764; p < 0.001). Finally, we determined a very strong correlation between SCT-Index and VO2max (mL/min) (r = 0.927; p = <0.001). When comparing the 6MWD to tSCT, there was a moderate correlation (r = −0.544; p = 0.003). It appears to be feasible in patients with Fontan circulation. (4) Conclusions: We were able to demonstrate that there is a significant correlation between our standardized SCT and treadmill CPET. Therefore, we can say that the SCT can be used as an easy supplement to CPET and in certain contexts, it can also be used as a screening tool when CPET is not available. The advantages would be that the SCT is a simple, quick, cost-effective, and reliable standardized (sub)maximal exercise test to evaluate CRF in healthy children on a routine basis. We can even assume that it can be used in patients with congenital heart disease. Full article
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12 pages, 1307 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Anti-Epileptic Drug Groups and Brushing on the Color Stability of Restorative Materials Used in Pedodontics: An In Vitro Evaluation
by Mehmet Sinan Dogan and Şemsettin Yıldız
Children 2024, 11(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020235 - 11 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
Objectives: This study will evaluate the effects of anti-epileptic drugs and brushing used in children on the color change of three restorative materials by creating an in vitro study model. Methods: Forty samples of polyacid-modified composite resin (compomer), glass ionomer cement (GIC), and [...] Read more.
Objectives: This study will evaluate the effects of anti-epileptic drugs and brushing used in children on the color change of three restorative materials by creating an in vitro study model. Methods: Forty samples of polyacid-modified composite resin (compomer), glass ionomer cement (GIC), and composite resin (CR) were prepared. Samples were split into four groups (n = 10) and soaked in three anti-epileptic drugs (Tegretol, Depakine, Keppra) and distilled water. For each group (n = 5), two subgroups (brushing and non-brushing) were created. Discolorations [CIEDE2000 (ΔE00)] were determined initially and on days 7 and 14. The data were analyzed with a four-factor repeated measures ANOVA analysis, and a post hoc analysis Bonferroni test was used. Results: After the second week, the highest ΔE00 value was seen in the non-brushed compomer material in the Tegretol drug group (8.59 ± 0.43). In contrast, the lowest value was seen in GIC filling material-brushing-Depakine drug (3.45 ± 2.14). ΔE00 values in the brushing groups were statistically significantly lower than those in the no brushing groups (p < 0.05). Conclusions: It has been determined that the color stability of aesthetic restorative dental materials used in pediatric dentistry is affected by antiepileptic drugs. In addition, it has been determined that tooth brushing positively affects the color stability of restorative materials. Therefore, pediatric dentists should advise their patients and their relatives about this issue and take precautions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Dentistry)
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11 pages, 687 KiB  
Article
The Use of Cannabinoids in Pediatric Palliative Care—A Retrospective Single-Center Analysis
by David Tagsold, Irmgard Toni, Regina Trollmann, Joachim Woelfle and Chara Gravou-Apostolatou
Children 2024, 11(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/children11020234 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1921
Abstract
This data analysis aimed to systematically analyze a pediatric patient population with a life-limiting disease who were administered cannabinoids. It was a retrospective single-center analysis of patients under supervision of the specialized outpatient pediatric palliative care (SOPPC) team at the Department of Pediatrics [...] Read more.
This data analysis aimed to systematically analyze a pediatric patient population with a life-limiting disease who were administered cannabinoids. It was a retrospective single-center analysis of patients under supervision of the specialized outpatient pediatric palliative care (SOPPC) team at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Thirty-one patients with a primary diagnosis of neuropediatric, oncologic, metabolic, and cardiologic categories were included. The indications we identified were spasticity, pain, restlessness, anxiety, loss of appetite, epilepsy, and paresis. Certain aspects of quality of life were improved for 20 of 31 patients (64.5%). For nine patients (29%), no improvement was detected. No conclusions could be drawn for two patients (6.5%). Adverse events were reported for six of the thirty-one patients (19.4%). These were graded as mild, including symptoms such as restlessness, nausea, and behavioral issues. We detected no clinically relevant interactions with other medications. We collected fundamental data on the use of cannabinoids by pediatric palliative patients. Cannabinoids are now frequently administered in pediatric palliative care. They seem to be safe to use and should be considered an add-on therapy for other drug regimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pediatric Palliative Home Care)
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