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Children, Volume 6, Issue 10 (October 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Elder- and community-led research processes are increasingly being acknowledged as critical in the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental and Genetic Determinants of Serum 25(OH)-Vitamin D Levels during Pregnancy and Early Childhood
Children 2019, 6(10), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100116 - 21 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Vitamin D insufficiency has become a common health problem worldwide, particularly among pregnant women and young children. Therefore, we sought to identify environmental, dietary, and genetic determinants of serum 25(OH)-vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels during pregnancy and early childhood. 25(OH)D was measured in women [...] Read more.
Vitamin D insufficiency has become a common health problem worldwide, particularly among pregnant women and young children. Therefore, we sought to identify environmental, dietary, and genetic determinants of serum 25(OH)-vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels during pregnancy and early childhood. 25(OH)D was measured in women at 24-weeks of gestation (n = 738) and one-week postpartum (n = 284) in the population-based Danish COPSAC2010 mother–child cohort; and in cord blood (n = 257) and age 4 years (n = 298) in children from the at-risk COPSAC2000 mother–child cohort. Environmental, dietary, and genetic variables were tested for association with 25(OH)D using linear regression analyses. After adjusting for season of blood sampling, determinants of lower 25(OH)D levels during pregnancy in the women were higher pre-pregnancy BMI, lower age at birth, lower genetic vitamin D score, lower dietary vitamin D intake, and lower social circumstances. In children, the determinants were lower maternal age at birth, higher pre-pregnancy BMI, lower genetic vitamin D score, older siblings, exposure to tobacco smoking, and female sex. Genetics was an important determinant at all time points, alone explaining 2%–11% of the variance in 25(OH)D. Important determinants of circulating 25(OH)D levels during pregnancy and early childhood include environmental factors, diet, and to a large extent genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Integrative Pediatrics)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Support and Modelling in Relation to Physical Activity Participation and Outdoor Play in Preschool Children
Children 2019, 6(10), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100115 - 17 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Physical activity during early childhood is a prerequisite for healthy development in many cases. The aim of this study was to assess the relationships of social modelling and support from parents, peers, and siblings and domain-specific physical activity participation in a nationwide sample [...] Read more.
Physical activity during early childhood is a prerequisite for healthy development in many cases. The aim of this study was to assess the relationships of social modelling and support from parents, peers, and siblings and domain-specific physical activity participation in a nationwide sample of preschool boys and girls from Germany. 519 preschool children aged 4–6 and one of their parents participated in the ‘MoMo’ Wave 1 Study between 2009 and 2012. Participants and their parents provided self-reported data on social support modelling, and domain-specific physical activity participation (physical activity in sports clubs, physical activity outside of sports clubs, and outdoor play). Parental, peer, and sibling support and modelling were related to domain-specific physical activity: Parental support was particularly relevant for physical activity in sports clubs, and peer support for outdoor play. Parental modelling was only related to physical activity outside of sports clubs: Maternal modelling was a positive correlate in girls and paternal modelling in boys, respectively. Sibling and peer modelling were especially relevant for physical activity in sports clubs. The results were heterogeneous regarding types and providers of support and modelling. Thus, different providers and types of support should be targeted in physical activity promotion programs for preschool children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Agreement between Fathers’ and Mothers’ Reported Stimulation and Associations with Observed Responsive Parenting in Pakistan
Children 2019, 6(10), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100114 - 15 Oct 2019
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Abstract
Parental stimulation and responsiveness are associated with improved early child development outcomes. However, the majority of studies have relied on maternal-reported measures of only mothers’ parenting practices. The purpose of this study was to assess the agreement between fathers’ and mothers’ reports of [...] Read more.
Parental stimulation and responsiveness are associated with improved early child development outcomes. However, the majority of studies have relied on maternal-reported measures of only mothers’ parenting practices. The purpose of this study was to assess the agreement between fathers’ and mothers’ reports of their own and their partner’s engagement in stimulation and assess the degree to which parents’ reported stimulation correlated with their observed responsive caregiving behaviors. Data were collected from 33 couples (33 fathers and 32 mothers) who had a child under 5 years of age in rural Pakistan. Paternal and maternal stimulation were measured based on reports of their own and their partner’s practices in play and learning activities with the child. Paternal and maternal responsiveness were observed in a subsample of 18 families. Moderate agreement was found between paternal and maternal reports of their own and their partner’s practices. Moderate associations were also found between self-reported measures of stimulation and observed responsive caregiving for both fathers and mothers. The strengths of agreement and associations were greater among couples who had higher quality coparenting relationships. Findings highlight the feasibility, reliability, and promise of assessing fathers’ parenting in a low-resource setting, using similar methods as for mothers’ parenting, to triangulate measures between reported and observed parenting and gain a deeper understanding of fathers’ and mothers’ unique caregiving contributions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
The Many Roles of the Rock: A Qualitative Inquiry into the Roles and Responsibilities of Fathers of Children with Brain Tumors
Children 2019, 6(10), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100113 - 11 Oct 2019
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Abstract
A pediatric brain tumor diagnosis impacts an entire family unit, from diagnosis through curative treatment, and into survivorship or bereavement. Paternal caregiver experience has been significantly underexplored in pediatric neuro-oncology research as compared to maternal experience. This case series study explores the paternal [...] Read more.
A pediatric brain tumor diagnosis impacts an entire family unit, from diagnosis through curative treatment, and into survivorship or bereavement. Paternal caregiver experience has been significantly underexplored in pediatric neuro-oncology research as compared to maternal experience. This case series study explores the paternal roles, responsibilities, strengths, challenges, personal growth, and support needs of fathers of children with brain tumors receiving new palliative care consultations. In the study setting, a neuro-oncology diagnosis results in an automatic referral to the palliative care team, and thus, a convenience sampling model was employed based on consecutive palliative care consults for new childhood brain tumor diagnoses. In this study, four fathers of pediatric brain tumor patients receiving palliative care consultations responded to eight open-ended questions. Individual, voice-recorded interviews were transcribed for semantic content qualitative analysis. Analysis followed Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guidelines. Participants completed quantitative surveys of their information preferences and support needs. Participants defined their father role as: being a team parent, an adaptable father, supporter, provider, a present father, and protector. Role conflict due to paternal responsibilities were recognized, such as the absence from the hospital to provide financial security for the family, and yet a desire to be physically present for the child. Fathers prioritized their knowledge needs about their child’s diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment above emotional needs. Fathers shared experiences of their personal growth through their child’s brain tumor diagnosis and advised on preferred support formats to include both verbal and written information. Understanding how paternal caregivers of children with cancer define their roles and goals has potential to improve the care and communication delivered to families of pediatric neuro-oncology patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Functioning in Childhood Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Epidurals for Coarctation Repair in Children Are Associated with Decreased Postoperative Anti-Hypertensive Infusion Requirement as Measured by a Novel Parameter, the Anti-Hypertensive Dosing Index (ADI)
Children 2019, 6(10), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100112 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Background: Sympathetically-associated hypertension after coarctation repair is a common problem often requiring anti-hypertensive infusions in an intensive care unit. Epidurals suppress sympathetic output and can reduce blood pressure but have not been studied following coarctation repair in children. We sought to determine whether [...] Read more.
Background: Sympathetically-associated hypertension after coarctation repair is a common problem often requiring anti-hypertensive infusions in an intensive care unit. Epidurals suppress sympathetic output and can reduce blood pressure but have not been studied following coarctation repair in children. We sought to determine whether epidurals for coarctation repair in children were associated with decreased requirement for postoperative anti-hypertensive infusions, if they were associated with changes in hospital course, or with complications. Methods: In this observational retrospective cohort study, we evaluated all patients age 1–18 years undergoing coarctation repair at our institution during a 10-year period and compared the requirement for postoperative anti-hypertensive infusions in patients with and without epidurals using an anti-hypertensive dosing index (ADI) incorporating total dose-hours of all anti-hypertensive infusions (primary outcome). We also assessed intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay, discharge on oral anti-hypertensive medication, and complications potentially related to epidurals (secondary outcomes). Results: Children undergoing coarctation repair with epidurals had decreased requirements for postoperative anti-hypertensive infusions compared to children without epidurals (cumulative ADI 65.0 [28.5–130.3] v. 157.0 [68.6–214.7], p = 0.021; mean ADI 49.0 [33.3–131.2] v. 163.0 [66.6–209.8], p = 0.01). After multivariable cumulative logit mixed-effects regression analysis, mean ADI was decreased in patients with epidurals throughout the postoperative period (p < 0.001). Patients with epidurals were 1.6 years older and weighed 10.6 kg more than patients without epidurals but were otherwise comparable. Epidural complications included pruritus (three patients), agitation (one patient), somnolence (one patient), and transient orthostatic hypotension (one patient). Duration of intensive care unit admission, duration of hospital stays, and requirement for anti-hypertensive medication at discharge were similar in patients with and without epidurals. Conclusions: This is the first study of children receiving an epidural for surgical repair of aortic coarctation via open thoracotomy. In this small, single-institution, observational retrospective cohort study, epidurals for coarctation repair in children were associated with decreased postoperative anti-hypertensive infusion requirements. Epidurals were not associated with length of ICU or hospital stay, or with discharge on anti-hypertensive medication. No significant epidural complications were noted. Prospective study of larger populations will be necessary to confirm these associations, address causality, verify safety, and assess other effects. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Making Meaningful Improvements in Pharmacotherapy and Medication Management for Children and Youth—A Modest Proposal
Children 2019, 6(10), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100111 - 09 Oct 2019
Viewed by 160
Abstract
The Special Issue, “Development of a National Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Collaborative Practice Network,” has illuminated the vital global need for better care coordination and interprofessional collaboration in pharmacotherapy and medication management of children with medical complexity and special healthcare needs (CSHCN-CMC) [...] Full article
Open AccessBrief Report
Gender-Related Challenges in Educational Interventions with Syrian Refugee Parents of Trauma-Affected Children in Turkey
Children 2019, 6(10), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100110 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 287
Abstract
Since 2012, more than three million Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey. While these refugees vary in socioeconomic background, it is notable that 50% of Syrian refugee children in Turkey display symptoms of post-traumatic stress and that more than 663,138 of these children [...] Read more.
Since 2012, more than three million Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey. While these refugees vary in socioeconomic background, it is notable that 50% of Syrian refugee children in Turkey display symptoms of post-traumatic stress and that more than 663,138 of these children between the ages of six and seventeen are not enrolled in school. For those children who are in school, high levels of trauma have significant implications for the education system as trauma alters the brain and affects the way children learn. A Global Voice for Autism is an international non-governmental relief and development organization that exists to equip teachers and families in conflict-affected communities. Its intent is to support the development and success of children with autism and trauma-related behavioral challenges in their classrooms, home, and communities. The instabilities inherent in the Syrian refugee experience pose a number of challenges to the organization’s effective implementation of programming. The experiences of refugees in Turkey are highly gendered. Therefore, a qualitative gender analysis was conducted to address and better understand the challenges faced when carrying out these educational interventions. The article examines domestic violence, sexual violence, and masculinity as gender-driven constructs that influence how refugees experience trauma. In addition, structural issues in existing support systems all present significant challenges to Syrian refugee parents that impede effective program implementation. It is imperative to assess structural issues in existing support services to address these challenges and to successfully carry out meaningful and impactful programming. This Brief Report provides a series of recommendations in order to ameliorate these challenges and increase the efficacy of educational interventions with Syrian refugee parents of trauma-affected and vulnerable children in Turkey. It concludes with a call for policy changes that protect refugees from deportation when accessing support services and a network of services that do not require residency permits. It calls for increased integration of parent trauma support in educational intervention trainings and the creation of safe spaces where mothers and fathers can discuss their own trauma and challenges in the hope of significantly enhancing program efficacy. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Complete and Incomplete Pentalogy of Cantrell
Children 2019, 6(10), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100109 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 194
Abstract
Pentalogy of Cantrell (PC) is a malformation characterized by defects in the ventral abdominal wall, lower sternum, diaphragmatic pericardium, anterior diaphragm associated with omphalocele, thoraco-abdominal ectopia cordis, diaphragmatic hernia, and intracardiac abnormalities. PC is stratified as complete or incomplete and we present both [...] Read more.
Pentalogy of Cantrell (PC) is a malformation characterized by defects in the ventral abdominal wall, lower sternum, diaphragmatic pericardium, anterior diaphragm associated with omphalocele, thoraco-abdominal ectopia cordis, diaphragmatic hernia, and intracardiac abnormalities. PC is stratified as complete or incomplete and we present both the complete and incomplete forms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pathophysiology of Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis: Implications for Management in Children
Children 2019, 6(10), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100108 - 04 Oct 2019
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis are chronic inflammatory skin diseases associated with a significant cutaneous and systemic burden of disease as well as a poor health-related quality of life. Here, we review the complex pathophysiology of both AD and psoriasis and discuss the [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis are chronic inflammatory skin diseases associated with a significant cutaneous and systemic burden of disease as well as a poor health-related quality of life. Here, we review the complex pathophysiology of both AD and psoriasis and discuss the implications for treatment with current state-of-the-art and emerging topical and systemic therapies. Both AD and psoriasis are caused by a complex combination of immune dysregulation, skin-barrier disruption, genetic factors, and environmental influences. Previous treatments for both diseases were limited to anti-inflammatory agents that broadly suppress inflammation. Emerging insights into relevant pathways, including recognition of the role of T-helper type 2 driven inflammation in AD and T-helper 1 and 17 driven inflammation in psoriasis, have led to a therapeutic revolution. There are a number of novel treatment options available for AD and psoriasis with many more currently under investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis in Children)
Open AccessArticle
The Hunger Vital Sign Identifies Household Food Insecurity among Children in Emergency Departments and Primary Care
Children 2019, 6(10), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100107 - 02 Oct 2019
Viewed by 270
Abstract
This study aimed: (1) to examine the sensitivity and specificity of the 2-item Hunger Vital Sign against the 18-item Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) in identifying young children in food insecure households in emergency department and primary care sites and (2) to [...] Read more.
This study aimed: (1) to examine the sensitivity and specificity of the 2-item Hunger Vital Sign against the 18-item Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) in identifying young children in food insecure households in emergency department and primary care sites and (2) to examine associations between food insecurity and adverse health conditions. We conducted cross-sectional surveys from 2009–2017 among 5039 caregivers of children age <48 months. We measured adverse child health by caregiver-reported perceived health, prior hospitalizations, and developmental risk (Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status). Analyses were conducted using covariate-adjusted logistic regression. Sensitivity and specificity of the Hunger Vital Sign against the HFSSM were 96.7% and 86.2%. Using the HFSSM, children in the emergency department had a 28% increase in the odds of experiencing food insecurity, compared to children in primary care, aOR = 1.28, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.08–1.52, p = 0.005. Using the Hunger Vital Sign, the increase was 26%, aOR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.08–1.46, and p = 0.003. The odds of children’s adverse health conditions were significantly greater in food insecure households, compared to food secure households, using either HFSSM or the Hunger Vital Sign. Screening for food insecurity with the Hunger Vital Sign identifies children at risk for adverse health conditions in both primary care and emergency department sites, and can be used to connect families with resources to alleviate food insecurity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Delivering Elder- and Community-Led Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Research: Lessons from the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort Project
Children 2019, 6(10), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100106 - 01 Oct 2019
Viewed by 197
Abstract
Elder- and community-led research processes are increasingly being acknowledged as critical for successful Aboriginal health and wellbeing research. This article provides an overview of the methodologies, methods and progress of the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children, Our Heart) project—an Elder- and community-led [...] Read more.
Elder- and community-led research processes are increasingly being acknowledged as critical for successful Aboriginal health and wellbeing research. This article provides an overview of the methodologies, methods and progress of the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort (Our Children, Our Heart) project—an Elder- and community-led research and research-translation project focused on the early childhood development of Australian Aboriginal children in an urban context (Perth, Western Australia). We describe the application of a participatory action research methodology that is grounded in Aboriginal worldview(s), from the collaborative development of the original idea to the post-funding processes of co-design and implementation, data collection, analysis, interpretation and translation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Social Functioning of Childhood Cancer Survivors after Computerized Cognitive Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Children 2019, 6(10), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6100105 - 27 Sep 2019
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for cognitive and social deficits. Previous findings indicate computerized cognitive training can result in an improvement of cognitive skills. The current objective was to investigate whether these cognitive gains generalize to social functioning benefits. Sixty-eight survivors of [...] Read more.
Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for cognitive and social deficits. Previous findings indicate computerized cognitive training can result in an improvement of cognitive skills. The current objective was to investigate whether these cognitive gains generalize to social functioning benefits. Sixty-eight survivors of childhood cancer were randomly assigned to a computerized cognitive intervention (mean age 12.21 ± 2.47 years, 4.97 ± 3.02 years off-treatment) or waitlist control group (mean age 11.82 ± 2.42 years, 5.04 ± 2.41 years off-treatment). Conners 3 Parent and Self-Report forms were completed pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention and six-months post-intervention. Piecewise linear mixed-effects models indicated no significant differences in Peer Relations between groups at baseline and no difference in change between groups from pre- to immediate post-intervention or post- to six-months post-intervention (ps > 0.40). Baseline Family Relations problems were significantly elevated in the control group relative to the intervention group (p < 0.01), with a significantly greater decline from pre- to immediate post-intervention (p < 0.05) and no difference in change between groups from post- to six-months post-intervention (p > 0.80). The study results suggest cognitive gains from computerized training do not generalize to social functioning. Training focused on skill-based social processing (e.g., affect recognition) may be more efficacious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Functioning in Childhood Cancer)
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