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Children, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2022) – 184 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) affects roughly 8% of school-aged children and is thought to be caused by complex interactions between genetic variants and environmental factors. A handful of candidate genes have been implicated in DLD populations through linkage and association studies, yet the search for further pathogenic variants remains elusive. Understanding the genetic architecture of DLD is critical in order to decipher new genetic associations. This article outlines the DLD phenotype and reviews recently identified gene pathways for DLD. View this paper
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Article
Clinical Manifestations of Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia Are Related to Alterations in the Gut Microbiota
Children 2022, 9(5), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050764 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Background and purpose: Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, also known as neonatal jaundice, is a common and frequent clinical condition with a complex etiology that can lead to brain damage in severe cases. Early recognition of hyperbilirubinemia and timely intervention and treatment can help reduce the [...] Read more.
Background and purpose: Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, also known as neonatal jaundice, is a common and frequent clinical condition with a complex etiology that can lead to brain damage in severe cases. Early recognition of hyperbilirubinemia and timely intervention and treatment can help reduce the occurrence of sequelae. This study was conducted to identify whether the gut microbiota composition can distinguish neonates with hyperbilirubinemia. Methods: Meconium samples were collected from 69 neonates with neonatal jaundice (NJ) and 69 age- and sex-matched neonates without clinically significant jaundice (healthy controls; HCs) for 16S rRNA gene sequencing and microbiome analysis. Results: Compared with HCs, the Chao 1 richness index of the gut microbiota was significantly decreased in the NJ group. The relative abundance of the probiotic gut bacterium, Lactobacillus, was significantly lower in the NJ group than in the HC group, whereas the abundances of potentially harmful gut bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus, were significantly higher in the NJ group than in HCs. Correlation of the gut microbiota and clinical indicators revealed a positive correlation between Escherichia coli/Staphylococcus and serum total bilirubin levels. Finally, the results of a random forest machine-learning method to evaluate the possibility of using NJ-associated gut microbiota compositions as potential NJ biomarkers revealed an area under the curve of 96.88%. Conclusions: The abundances of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus were positively correlated with serum total bilirubin levels. Hence, the gut microbiota composition is a potential biomarker of NJ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Probiotics, Prebiotics and Postbiotics in Human Health)
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Article
Multiple Skeletal Anomalies of Sprague Dawley Rats following Prenatal Exposure to Anastatica hierochuntica, as Delineated by a Modified Double-Staining Method
Children 2022, 9(5), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050763 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Anastatica hierochuntica (A. hierochuntica) is a plant that originates from Middle Eastern countries. This herb is commonly consumed by pregnant women to ease the process of childbirth. However, consumption of A. hierochuntica during the prenatal period may disrupt foetal development. In [...] Read more.
Anastatica hierochuntica (A. hierochuntica) is a plant that originates from Middle Eastern countries. This herb is commonly consumed by pregnant women to ease the process of childbirth. However, consumption of A. hierochuntica during the prenatal period may disrupt foetal development. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential effects of four different doses (0, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) of A. hierochuntica aqueous extract (AHAE) on the skeletal development of Sprague Dawley rat foetuses. The AHAE was administered from gestational day (GD) 6 till GD20. We also aimed to produce a simplified and reproducible skeletal staining procedure for proper skeletal assessment of full-term Sprague Dawley rat foetuses. Skeletal structures were stained using a modified method that utilised Alcian Blue 8GX and Alizarin Red S dyes. The staining procedure involved fixation, skinning, evisceration, cartilage staining, bone staining and clearing. Our modified staining technique has successfully showed a clear demarcation between the bone and cartilage components, which enabled objective assessment of the skeletal ossification following administration of AHAE. Some skeletal anomalies such as sacrocaudal agenesis and maxillary defect (cleft lip) were observed in 250 and 1000 mg/kg groups, respectively. These findings indicate potential toxicity effects of AHAE on the developing foetuses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research on Cleft Lip in Children)
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Article
Vitamin D and Forearm Fractures in Children Preliminary Findings: Risk Factors and Correlation between Low-Energy and High-Energy Fractures
Children 2022, 9(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050762 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Background: The forearm is the most common fracture site in childhood, accounting for every fourth pediatric fracture. It is well described that vitamin D is involved in the regulation of bone mineralization and skeletal homeostasis by the regulation of calcium absorption. The aim [...] Read more.
Background: The forearm is the most common fracture site in childhood, accounting for every fourth pediatric fracture. It is well described that vitamin D is involved in the regulation of bone mineralization and skeletal homeostasis by the regulation of calcium absorption. The aim of our study was to determine the influence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels on forearm fracture falls in a pediatric population, depending on level of energy impact. Additionally, we also aimed to evaluate the correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and other tested risk factors for pediatric fractures. Methods: We evaluated 50 eligible children aged 3 to 12 years with a forearm fracture. According to energy impact, patients were grouped into low-energy fractures (LEF) and high-energy fractures (HEF) groups. The general characteristics of the patients included age, gender, sport participation, and fractured bone and its localization. We analyzed 25-hydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium, magnesium, phosphate, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and body mass index (BMI). Results: There is a significant difference in the 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels distribution between LEF and HEF (p < 0.001) and PTH levels (p = 0.002). For magnesium levels, calcium levels, phosphate levels, and CRP levels, there were no significant differences in their frequency distribution. For the group of patients with LEF, there is a significantly positive correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcium levels (p = 0.019) and a borderline significantly positive correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and magnesium levels (p = 0.050). For the group of patients with HEF, there was only a significantly positive correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and PTH levels (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Children with LEF were more frequently insufficient in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels but had normal calcium levels, compared to the ones with HEF. These findings suggest that LEF and HEF in children might to a certain degree have different pathophysiological mechanisms. Full article
Article
One Year of Lung Ultrasound in Children with SARS-CoV-2 Admitted to a Tertiary Referral Children’s Hospital: A Retrospective Study during 2020–2021
Children 2022, 9(5), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050761 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 647
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the lung ultrasound (LU) turned out to be a pivotal tool to study the lung involvement in the adult population, but the same was not well evaluated in children. We detected the LU patterns through an integrated approach with [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the lung ultrasound (LU) turned out to be a pivotal tool to study the lung involvement in the adult population, but the same was not well evaluated in children. We detected the LU patterns through an integrated approach with clinical–laboratory features in children hospitalized for COVID-19 in relation to the temporal trend of the Italian epidemic. We conducted a retrospective study which took place at a pediatric tertiary hospital from 15 March 2020 to 15 March 2021. We compared the characteristics of the initial phase of the first COVID-19 year—in the spring and summer (15 March–30 September 2020)—and those of the second phase—in the autumn and winter (1 October 2020–15 March 2021). Twenty-eight patients were studied both in the first and in the second phase of the first COVID-19 year. The disease severity score (DSS) was significantly greater in the second phase (p = 0.015). In the second phase of the first COVID-19 year, we detected a more significant occurrence of the following LU features than in the first phase: the irregular pleural line (85.71% vs. 60.71%; p = 0.035), the B-lines (89.29% vs. 60%; p = 0.003) and the several but non-coalescent B-lines (89.29% vs. 60%; p = 0.003). The LU score correlated significantly with the DSS, with a moderate relationship (r = 0.51, p < 0.001). The combined clinical, laboratory and ultrasound approaches might be essential in the evaluation of pulmonary involvement in children affected by COVID-19 during different periods of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Pulmonary Ultrasonography in Children)
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Article
Does Risser Casting for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Still Have a Role in the Treatment of Curves Larger Than 40°? A Case Control Study with Bracing
Children 2022, 9(5), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050760 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Background: The most common conservative treatment for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is bracing. However, several papers questioned the effectiveness of bracing for curves between 40° and 50° Cobb: the effectiveness in preventing curve progression could be as low as 35%. Seriate casting [...] Read more.
Background: The most common conservative treatment for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is bracing. However, several papers questioned the effectiveness of bracing for curves between 40° and 50° Cobb: the effectiveness in preventing curve progression could be as low as 35%. Seriate casting is considered a standard approach in early onset scoliosis; however, in the setting of AIS, cast treatment is seldom utilized, with only few studies reporting on its effectiveness. Aim of the study: The main aim of the study is to determine whether a seriate casting with Risser casts associated with bracing is more effective in preventing curve progression than bracing alone in curves larger than 40°. Furthermore, the secondary endpoints were: (1) is there a difference in effectiveness of casting between Thoracic (T) and Thoracolumbar/Lumbar (TL/L) curves? (2) Does the ‘in cast’ correction predicts the treatment outcome? (3) What is the effect on thoracic kyphosis of casting? Methods: This is a retrospective monocentric case–control study; through an Institutional Database search we identified all the patients treated at our institution between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2020, with a diagnosis of AIS, Risser grade between 0 and 4 at the beginning of the treatment, at least one curve above 40° Cobb and treatment with either seriate Risser casting and bracing (Study Group, SG) or bracing alone (Control Group, CG). Standing full spine X-rays in AP and LL are obtained before and after the cast treatment; only AP standing full spine X-rays ‘in-cast’ are obtained for each cast made. Patients were stratified according to the curve behavior at the end of treatment (Risser 5): progression was defined as ≥6° increase in the curve magnitude or fusion needed; stabilization is defined as a change in curve by ±5°; and improvement was defined as ≥6° reduction in the curve. Results: For the final analysis, 55 compliant patients (12 M, 43 F, mean age 13.5 ± 1.6) were included in the SG and 27 (4 M, 23 F, mean age 13.6 ± 1.6) in the CG. Eight (14.5%) patients in the SG failed the conservative treatment while 14 (51.3%) failed in the CG. Consequently, the Relative Risk for progression in the Efficacy Analysis was 1.8 (95% CI 1, 3–2.6, p = 0.001), and the Number Needed to Treat was 2,4. No significant difference was found between the T and TL/L curves concerning the ‘progressive’ endpoint (z-score 0.263, p = 0.79). The mean percentage of ‘in cast’ curve reduction was 40.1 ± 15.2%; no significant correlation was found between the percentage of correction and the outcome (Spearman Correlation Coefficient 0.18). Finally, no significant differences between baseline and end of FU TK were found (32° ± 16.2 vs. 29.6 ± 15.8, p = ns). Discussion: Seriate Risser casting for AIS with larger curves (>40° Cobb) is effective in reducing curve progression when compared with full time bracing alone in treatment compliant patients. The treatment is equally effective in controlling T and TL/L curves; furthermore, a slight but non-significant decrease in TK was observed in patients treated with casting. This type of treatment should be considered for AIS patients who present with large curves to potentially reduce the percentage of surgical cases. Short Abstract: The aim of the study is to determine whether seriate Risser casting associated with bracing is more effective in preventing curve progression than bracing alone in curves larger than 40°. This is a retrospective monocentric case–control study; we identified all the patients treated at our institution with a diagnosis of AIS, Risser grade 0–4 at the beginning of the treatment, at least one curve above 40° Cobb (35° if treated with bracing alone) and treatment with either seriate Risser casting and bracing (Study Group, SG) or bracing alone (Control Group, CG). Fifty-five patients (12 M, 43 F, mean age 13.5 ± 1.6) were included in the SG and 30 (5 M, 25 F, mean age 13.9 ± 1.7) in the CG. Eight (14,5%) patients in the SG failed the conservative treatment while fifteen (50%) failed in the CG. Consequently, the Relative Risk for progression in the Efficacy Analysis was 1.8 (95% CI 1.3–2.6, p = 0.001), and the Number Needed to Treat was 2,4. Seriate Risser casting for AIS with larger curves (>40°) is effective in reducing curve progression when compared with full time bracing alone. This type of treatment should be considered for AIS patients who present with large curves. Full article
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Case Report
Menke–Hennekam Syndrome: A Literature Review and a New Case Report
Children 2022, 9(5), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050759 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Background: Menke–Hennekam syndrome (MHS) is a rare and recently described syndrome consecutive to the variants in exon 30 or 31 in CREBBP (CREB-binding protein gene). The CREB-binding protein (CREBBP) and EP300 genes are two commonly expressed genes whose products possess acetyltransferase activity [...] Read more.
Background: Menke–Hennekam syndrome (MHS) is a rare and recently described syndrome consecutive to the variants in exon 30 or 31 in CREBBP (CREB-binding protein gene). The CREB-binding protein (CREBBP) and EP300 genes are two commonly expressed genes whose products possess acetyltransferase activity for histones and various other proteins. Mutations that affect these two genes are known to cause Rubinstein–Taybi syndrome (RTS); however, with the application of whole exome sequencing (WES) there were reports of variants that affect specific regions of exon 30 or 31 of these two genes but without the specific phenotype of RTS. Material and Methods: A review of the available literature was conducted, aimed at underscoring the difficulties in diagnosing MHS based on phenotype particularities. Results: Five applicable studies were identified by searching PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases for publications up to November 2021 using the key terms “Menke–Hennekam syndrome” and “CREBBP”. Conclusions: In this paper, we present a new case and highlight the importance of exome sequencing to identify different mutations of exons 30 and 31 of the CREBBP gene involved in MHS, and we make formal recommendations based on our literature review. Full article
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Article
Controlling the Progression of Curvature in Children and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Following the Administration of Melatonin, Calcium, and Vitamin D
Children 2022, 9(5), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050758 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Idiopathic scoliosis affects a severe number of children. Their quality of life and development are also disturbed. Some therapeutic strategies have been developed to control illness progression and to optimize the quality of life. In this perspective, randomized, case-control, interventional study, the impact [...] Read more.
Idiopathic scoliosis affects a severe number of children. Their quality of life and development are also disturbed. Some therapeutic strategies have been developed to control illness progression and to optimize the quality of life. In this perspective, randomized, case-control, interventional study, the impact of using melatonin, calcium, and vitamin D, respectively, on idiopathic scoliosis patients was analyzed. Our preliminary results showed that these drugs positively affected the illness progression quantified by the spine curvature. Patients with idiopathic scoliosis may benefit from a novel treatment by supplementation with vitamin D, calcium, and melatonin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Integrative Pediatrics)
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Article
Life Quality of Children Affected by Cleft Lip Palate and Alveolus (CLPA)
Children 2022, 9(5), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050757 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 383
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of life of children and adolescents affected by cleft lip, palate and alveolus (CLPA) in the Italian population after a tailored treatment dental program. A prospective study was conducted with subjects of both [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of life of children and adolescents affected by cleft lip, palate and alveolus (CLPA) in the Italian population after a tailored treatment dental program. A prospective study was conducted with subjects of both genders at the University Hospital of Pisa, Italy. This study included 32 patients (11 females and 21 males, mean age: 9.8 ± 2.1 years old) affected by CLPA (test group); a tailored oral hygiene instruction protocol was adopted in the test group since early age (6.1 ± 0.9 years old) after corrective surgery and regular dental hygiene appointments were scheduled. Moreover, a control group of 32 patients (11 females and 21 males, mean age: 10.1 ± 2.2 years old) without CLPA was included; control subjects were first-visit patients, matched for age and sex, who had not received a specific dental hygiene program before. The OHIP-14 (Oral Health Impact Profile) questionnaire was applied for the evaluation of the quality of life of patients of both groups and the questions were presented directly to the patients. Moreover, the DMFT (Decayed, Missed and Filled Teeth) index was measured. A statistical analysis was performed and the level of significance was set at: p < 0.05. The OHIP-14 scores presented significant differences between the two groups (p < 0.05); the test group exhibited a lower mean OHIP-14 score in comparison to the control group. The DMFT score was significantly lower in the test group in comparison to controls (p: 0.001, p < 0.05). The quality of life and DMFT score of children and adolescents affected by CLPA, after a tailored treatment dental program, were better than that of the subjects of the control group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Early Childhood Oral Health Care)
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Article
Cognitive Profiles of Adolescent Inpatients with Substance Use Disorder
Children 2022, 9(5), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050756 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
The prevalence of substance abuse is high during adolescence, and several studies have linked the use of alcohol and cannabis in adolescence to different cognitive impairments. To investigate whether specific cognitive deficits can be observed in adolescents with substance use disorder (SUD), we [...] Read more.
The prevalence of substance abuse is high during adolescence, and several studies have linked the use of alcohol and cannabis in adolescence to different cognitive impairments. To investigate whether specific cognitive deficits can be observed in adolescents with substance use disorder (SUD), we compared the cognitive profiles of inpatient adolescents diagnosed with SUD to a control group matched for sex, age and educational status. The inpatient adolescents received diagnoses of cannabis use disorder, alcohol use disorder or both. We compared the WISC-V profiles of 22 inpatients (45.5% female, Mage: 14.5; SD: 0.8) and the WAIS-IV profiles of 27 inpatients (44.4% female, Mage: 17.1; SD: 0.9) to 49 matched control participants with no diagnosed SUD. At the time of testing, participants were hospitalized for treatment of their SUD and were abstinent for a period of at least 6 weeks. To gain greater power, we jointly analyzed the Verbal Comprehension Index, Working Memory Index, Processing Speed Index and Full Scale IQ as assessed by WISC-V and WAIS-IV. The clinical group performed significantly worse than the control group on all the above indices. When only the group of inpatients was observed, in a model with the factors sex, educational status, presence of a comorbid diagnosis of depression and the number of comorbid diagnoses, only the factor educational status was significantly associated with the Full Scale IQ, whereas the factors sex and a comorbid diagnosis of depression in this group were associated with the Processing Speed Index. The results show that adolescents diagnosed with SUD (cannabis and/or alcohol) display broad cognitive impairments after 6 weeks of abstinence. Future research is required to further explore the role of comorbid diagnoses. Full article
Article
Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A Retrospective Study
Children 2022, 9(5), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050755 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 910
Abstract
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face several challenges due to deficits in social function and communication along with restricted patterns of behaviors. Often, they also have difficult-to-manage and disruptive behaviors. At the moment, there are no pharmacological treatments for ASD core features. [...] Read more.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) face several challenges due to deficits in social function and communication along with restricted patterns of behaviors. Often, they also have difficult-to-manage and disruptive behaviors. At the moment, there are no pharmacological treatments for ASD core features. Recently, there has been a growing interest in non-pharmacological interventions for ASD, such as neuromodulation. In this retrospective study, data are reported and analyzed from 21 patients (13 males, 8 females) with ASD, with an average age of 9.1 (range 5–15), who received six months of transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) at home using two protocols (alpha and gamma), which, respectively, modulates the alpha and gamma bands. They were evaluated at baseline, after three and six months of treatment using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), the Home Situation Questionnaire-ASD (HSQ-ASD), the Autism Parenting Stress Index (APSI), the Montefiore Einstein Rigidity Scale–Revised (MERS–R), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the SDAG, to evaluate attention. Findings show that tPBM was associated with a reduction in ASD severity, as shown by a decrease in CARS scores during the intervention (p < 0.001). A relevant reduction in noncompliant behavior and in parental stress have been found. Moreover, a reduction in behavioral and cognitive rigidity was reported as well as an improvement in attentional functions and in sleep quality. Limitations were discussed as well as future directions for research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Neuropsychiatry)
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Article
Pilot Study and Preliminary Results of Biodegradable Intramedullary Nailing of Forearm Fractures in Children
Children 2022, 9(5), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050754 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 629
Abstract
(1) Background: Diaphyseal forearm fractures are a common injury in children and adolescents. When operative treatment is needed, elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) is the most common surgical procedure. Although there is no clear evidence, hardware removal after fracture healing is performed in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Diaphyseal forearm fractures are a common injury in children and adolescents. When operative treatment is needed, elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) is the most common surgical procedure. Although there is no clear evidence, hardware removal after fracture healing is performed in many patients. Often, the primary minimal invasive incision needs to be widened during implant removal. In order to decrease the burden of care of pediatric fractures, significant efforts were made to develop biodegradable implants, which make hardware removal unnecessary. Our study will conduct an observational trial on the clinical use of the Activa IM-Nail™ in forearm fractures in children between 3 and 13 years of age. The objective of this trial is to evaluate the risks and benefits of the Activa IM-Nail™. Among other objectives, the rate of refracture will be determined. (2) Methods: An international Europe-based, multicenter, prospective, single-arm, open-label study will be performed to ascertain the rate of refracture and to determine the subjective benefits of Activa IM-Nail™ for patients, parents and other caregivers. The study will include clinical follow-up including early post-operative complication, radiographs until bony healing and an additional follow-up after 1 year. At this stage, preliminary results and early complications on 76 patients are analyzed in this study and presented. (3) Results: As of April 2022, 76 patients were enrolled as per study protocol. There were 31 girls (40.8%) and 45 boys (59.2%). The mean age at the time of inclusion was 8.9 years (±2.4 years). The mean operation time was 58.9 ± 22.9 min (range, 15–119 min). The mean follow-up time was 8.9 ± 5.1 months (range, 0.2–18.6). Up to now, one refracture has occurred in one child falling from a height of about one meter 7 months after index surgery (1/76; 1.3%). (4) Conclusion: The research project assesses the safety and effectiveness of Activa IM-Nails™ as part of the surgical treatment of dislocated forearm fractures in children in the context of a PMCF study. The use of Activa IM-Nails™ with regard to various objectives, including postoperative complications and refracture rate, seems to be equal to the standard titan ESIN procedure compared to the literature. Preliminary results are encouraging and are made available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Development of Pediatric Minimally Invasive Surgery)
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Article
Out-of-School Sports Participation Is Positively Associated with Physical Literacy, but What about Physical Education? A Cross-Sectional Gender-Stratified Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic among High-School Adolescents
Children 2022, 9(5), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050753 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Physical literacy (PL) is one of the main concepts related to lifelong physical activity (PA) and physical fitness (PF), but there is a lack of information on factors that might be associated with PL in adolescents from southeastern Europe. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Physical literacy (PL) is one of the main concepts related to lifelong physical activity (PA) and physical fitness (PF), but there is a lack of information on factors that might be associated with PL in adolescents from southeastern Europe. This study aimed to evaluate the associations between PF, participation and achievement in physical education (PE), out-of-school participation in sports, and PL in high school adolescents from Croatia. Participants were 298 high school students aged 14–18 years (191 females). Variables included school age, PE grade, sports participation, anthropometric indices, four PF tests, and PL (evidenced by CAPL-2-knowledge and understanding questionnaire (CAPL-2-KU) and PLAYself questionnaire). Gender-stratified analyses of differences were conducted using the t-test for independent samples or the Mann-Whitney test. Associations between variables were calculated with Pearson’s product moment correlation or Spearman’s rank order correlation. PF was positively correlated CAPL-2-KU in both genders. PE grade was significantly associated with PLAYself score (Pearson’s correlation = 0.36 and 0.38, p < 0.001 for boys and girls, respectively) but not with the CAPL-2-KU score. School age was not correlated with PL among boys, but there was a significant but negligible correlation between CAPL-2-KU and school age in girls (<2% of the common variance). Adolescents involved in sports had better PL and PF compared with adolescents not involved in sports. In conclusion, participation in out-of-school sports offers a good base for developing PL. Although this study took part over the COVID-19 pandemic period when the regular PE curriculum was significantly altered, the poor associations between school age and PL could lead to the assumption that the current PE curriculum does not allow for improvement of PL in later high school age, which warrants further investigation. Full article
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Article
Does a Graf Type-I Hip Justify the Discontinuation of Pavlik Harness Treatment in Patients with Developmental Dislocation of the Hip?
Children 2022, 9(5), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050752 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Background: To analyze the clinical data of patients aged < 6 months with developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH) treated with Pavlik Harness (PH) in order to identify the best time to terminate PH treatment. Method: Fifty-four patients (47 females, 7 males; 63 [...] Read more.
Background: To analyze the clinical data of patients aged < 6 months with developmental dislocation of the hip (DDH) treated with Pavlik Harness (PH) in order to identify the best time to terminate PH treatment. Method: Fifty-four patients (47 females, 7 males; 63 hips) met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study; there were 33 (61.1%) left, 12 (22.2%) right and 9 (16.7%) bilateral DDH. The mean age at diagnosis was 11.8 ± 5.9 weeks (range, 1.4–25.5). All patients underwent fulltime PH treatment for about three months. At completion of PH treatment, patients were then divided into Group A, including patients with clinically stable hip joint and Graf type-I hip on ultrasound (US), and Group B, including patients with clinically stable hip joint and well-reduced hip on anterior-posterior (AP) radiographs without acetabular dysplasia. Six months after completion of PH treatment, the presence/absence of residual acetabular dysplasia (RAD) was evaluated on AP pelvis radiographs. The t-test and chi-square test were used to compare the differences in age, gender, side, Graf classification and RAD rate between the two groups of patients. Results: At completion of PH treatment, 45 hips were in Group A and 18 in Group B. There were no significant differences in age, gender, side, preoperative alpha angle and Graf classification between the two groups. Six months after discontinuation of PH, the AI in Group A (27.1° ± 6.8°) was significantly higher than that in Group B (21.9° ± 3.5°; p = 0.001); moreover 23 hips (51.1%) in Group A developed RAD compared to one hip in Group B (5.6%; p = 0.001). Among Group A patients, those with RAD were significantly older (13.7 ± 4.9 weeks) than those with normal hips (7.6 ± 3.8 weeks; p < 0.001); the incidence of RAD was significantly lower in patients with Graf type-II D hips (22.2%) than in patients with Graf type-III (70%) and type-IV hips (71.4%; p = 0.006). However, logistic regression analysis identified age as the only risk factor for RAD. All 24 hips with RAD (24/63, 38.1%) were treated with abduction braces. At final follow-up, AI in Group A (20.5° ± 3.3°) was not significantly different from that in Group B (21.9° ± 3.3°; p = 0.132). At the last follow-up visit, five hips (11.1%) in Group A still had RAD, compared to none in Group B (p = 0.31). Conclusions: In patients with DDH treated by PH, Graf type-I on US is not an absolute timing to terminate PH treatment. In addition, patients ≥ 13 weeks had a high risk of RAD despite PH treatment as 51.1% of infants developed RAD during follow up. Follow-up radiographs should be requested in all patients achieving Graf type-I hips at completion of PH treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bone Development and Disease in Infants (Volume II))
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Editorial
Septic Arthritis and Related Conditions
Children 2022, 9(5), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050751 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Arthritis is a common condition that any pediatrician may have to deal with [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Septic Arthritis and Related Conditions)
Review
Measurement of the Developing Foot in Shod and Barefoot Paediatric Populations: A Narrative Review
Children 2022, 9(5), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050750 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 499
Abstract
The theory that footwear may change foot shape dates back 100 years. Since this period, research has revealed the anatomical and functional consequences that footwear can cause to the foot. Children’s feet remain malleable as they undergo developmental changes until adolescence, which is [...] Read more.
The theory that footwear may change foot shape dates back 100 years. Since this period, research has revealed the anatomical and functional consequences that footwear can cause to the foot. Children’s feet remain malleable as they undergo developmental changes until adolescence, which is why childhood is arguably a crucial period to understand how footwear can affect natural foot development. This review explored the development of the foot in children and adolescents and the methods used to measure the different foot structures; it comments on the key issues with some of these methods and gives direction for future research. Various internal and external factors can affect foot development; the main factors are age, gender, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and footwear habits. Research on how footwear can affect foot development has increased over the years and the final section of this review aimed to unpick the findings. Studies investigating the influence of footwear habits on foot length and width have established inconsistent findings. Many of the studies in the review did not control for internal and external factors that can affect foot development. There was also a limited number of studies that investigated hallux valgus angle and muscle strength differences in those with different footwear habits. Moreover, multiple studies in the final section of this review did not successfully examine the footwear habits of the participants and instead used observations or self-assessments, which is a major limitation. Future research should examine footwear behaviors and other confounding factors when investigating the development of the foot in children and adolescents. Moreover, researchers should critically evaluate the methods used to quantify the different structures of the foot to ensure valid and reliable parameters are being used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatric Orthopedics)
Article
Inclusive EFL Teaching for Young Students with Special Needs: A Case in China
Children 2022, 9(5), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050749 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 433
Abstract
In China, English as a foreign language is important and compulsory from primary education to higher education, essentially because English has become a global language. The Ministry of Education emphasizes that school principals should attempt to train teachers in special education and in [...] Read more.
In China, English as a foreign language is important and compulsory from primary education to higher education, essentially because English has become a global language. The Ministry of Education emphasizes that school principals should attempt to train teachers in special education and in assisting students with special education needs (SEN) in regular classes via supportive services. However, EFL teachers usually have insufficient training and do not know how to adjust their teaching methods for students with SEN in regular classes. This study investigated 328 teachers’ teaching practices and their attitudes toward including students with SEN in K–12 English classes in the three largest provinces in east, south, and central China. The findings indicated that English teachers have not used specific teaching resources to teach students with SEN. Teachers noted that they were not provided with specialized training and there were not enough teaching assistants to help the students with SEN. There were significant statistical differences found between primary school teachers and middle school teachers with and without special education training regarding inclusion practices and their attitudes toward inclusion (regarding students with SEN). Most English teachers believe that students with SEN should be taught in special classes with specialized materials rather than in regular EFL classes. Full article
Article
Sleep and Executive Functioning in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors after Critical Care
Children 2022, 9(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050748 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Over 50,000 children are hospitalized annually for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and face long-term cognitive morbidity. Over 50% develop sleep/wake disturbances (SWDs) that can affect brain development and healing. We hypothesized SWDs would portend worse executive function outcomes in children aged 3–18 years [...] Read more.
Over 50,000 children are hospitalized annually for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and face long-term cognitive morbidity. Over 50% develop sleep/wake disturbances (SWDs) that can affect brain development and healing. We hypothesized SWDs would portend worse executive function outcomes in children aged 3–18 years with TBI 1–3 months after hospital discharge. SWDs were defined using the Sleep Disturbances Scale for Children (t-scores ≥ 60). Outcomes included the Global Executive Composite (GEC, t-score) from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second and Preschool Editions, and multiple objective executive function assessments combined through Principal Components Analysis into a Neurocognitive Index (NCI, z-score). Multiple linear regression evaluated associations between SWDs and executive function outcomes, controlling for covariates. Among 131 children, 68% had clinically significant SWDs, which were associated with significantly worse median scores on the GEC (56 vs. 45) and NCI (−0.02 vs. 0.42; both p < 0.05). When controlling for baseline characteristics and injury severity in multivariable analyses, SWDs were associated with worse GEC (β-coefficient = 7.8; 95% Confidence Interval = 2.5, 13.1), and worse NCI (β-coefficient = −0.4; 95% Confidence Interval = −0.8, −0.04). SWDs in children with TBI are associated with worse executive function outcomes after hospital discharge, and may serve as modifiable targets to improve outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Neurocritical Care and Neurotrauma Recovery)
Article
Impact of Bullying—Victimization and Gender over Psychological Distress, Suicidal Ideation, and Family Functioning of Mexican Adolescents
Children 2022, 9(5), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050747 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Bullying victimization is strongly associated with increased psychological distress and suicide in adolescents and poor family functioning. Knowledge of gender differences influencing these factors will improve the prevention of mental problems and suicide in victimized adolescents. A total of 1685 Mexican secondary students, [...] Read more.
Bullying victimization is strongly associated with increased psychological distress and suicide in adolescents and poor family functioning. Knowledge of gender differences influencing these factors will improve the prevention of mental problems and suicide in victimized adolescents. A total of 1685 Mexican secondary students, 12–17 years old (m = 13.65), of whom 54% were girls, responded to a standardized scale questionnaire to analyze such differences. Based on the statistical analysis, girls reported significantly lower family functioning and higher psychological distress and suicidal ideation than boys. The cluster analysis classified adolescents into high (5.78%), moderate (24.07%), and no-victimization (69.76%) groups. Boys predominated in the high (3.1%) and moderate-victimization (12.4%) clusters, and girls in the no-victimization group (39.51%). Multivariate statistical analyses found significant differences between the three groups, with the highest means of psychological distress and suicidal ideation and lowest family functioning in the high-victimization group. Only for suicidal ideation, there was an interaction between gender and the degree of victimization, with girls showing a higher increase of suicidal ideation than boys in the same cluster. Conclusions: Early detection and intervention in bullying-victimized adolescents, aiming to decrease psychological distress and suicidal ideation and strengthen family functioning, should consider contextual gender differences for effective prevention of mental health problems and suicide in adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
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Article
Neurological Manifestations in Pediatric Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: Experiences of the National Medical Center “20 de Noviembre” in Mexico City
Children 2022, 9(5), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050746 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 536
Abstract
COVID-19 has affected millions of children and, while it was previously considered as a respiratory disease, neurologic involvement has also been documented. The objective of this study was to identify the neurological manifestations (NMs) and the outcomes of children with COVID-19 who attended [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has affected millions of children and, while it was previously considered as a respiratory disease, neurologic involvement has also been documented. The objective of this study was to identify the neurological manifestations (NMs) and the outcomes of children with COVID-19 who attended the National Medical Center “20 de Noviembre”. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of children hospitalized for COVID-19 from April 2020 to March 2021 was conducted. Clinical-demographic data were registered. Neurologic manifestations were defined as any clinical neurological expression of the central and/or peripheral nervous system that occurred during admission or hospitalization. Results: In total, 46 children with a confirmed COVID-19 result, 26 (56.5%) boys and 20 (43.5%) girls with a median age of 8.9 ± 4.6 years, constituted the study population. Half of the children showed some NMs, and this group of patients concomitantly showed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, 56%), obesity (17.3%), or acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML, 4.3%). The most frequently described NMs were headache (13, 56%), encephalopathy (10, 43.47%), and epilepsy (4, 17.39%). The mortality rate in children with NMs was 21.7% and they had a higher mortality rate when compared to those without NM p ≤ 0.025. Conclusions: NMs occurred predominantly in male children aged 6 to 12 years; ALL was the most frequent comorbidity. Headache prevailed and hypoxemia, hypocalcemia, elevated ferritin, and C-reactive protein were associated with NM. Finally, NMs were a risk factor for mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Child Neurology)
Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth with Chronic Pain and Their Parents: A Longitudinal Examination of Who Are Most at Risk
Children 2022, 9(5), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050745 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 479
Abstract
Objectives: Chronic pain and mental illness in youth and parents are poised to reach new heights amidst the societal and healthcare impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence from natural disasters (i.e., hurricanes) suggests that a degree of personal impact and individual personality may [...] Read more.
Objectives: Chronic pain and mental illness in youth and parents are poised to reach new heights amidst the societal and healthcare impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence from natural disasters (i.e., hurricanes) suggests that a degree of personal impact and individual personality may moderate the effects of high stress events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on mental health. Methods: In a pre-existing cohort of 84 youth with chronic pain (Mage = 14.39; 12–18 years; 67.8% female) and 90 parents (86.7% female), we examined changes in youth pain interference and youth and parent mental health (depression, anxiety) from before to during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the influence of personal impact of the pandemic (i.e., financial, familial, health, social, occupational, and educational domains) and individual personality (neuroticism, conscientiousness, extroversion). Results: Overall, youth reported significantly lower pain interference and anxiety as compared to pre-pandemic; however, those more personally impacted by the pandemic reported worsening pain interference and anxiety symptoms. Overall, parents reported greater depressive symptoms as compared to pre-pandemic; however, those more personally impacted by the pandemic reported increased anxiety symptoms. Personality traits (high neuroticism, and low conscientiousness and extroversion) predicted worsened pain and mental health, and exacerbated effects of COVID-19-related personal impact on youth and parent anxiety symptoms. Discussion: Identifying risk and resilience profiles in youth and parents at high risk for worsening pain and mental health may better inform matching interventions to individual need. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Pediatric Nursing in a Post-pandemic World)
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Article
Trends in BMI Percentile and Body Fat Percentage in Children 12 to 17 Years of Age
Children 2022, 9(5), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050744 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 374
Abstract
This study evaluates the cross-sectional trends in body fat percentage (BF%) and body mass index (BMI) percentile rank, and the relationship between the two in 332 (177 boys, 155 girls) 12- to 17-year-old children. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using measured height [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the cross-sectional trends in body fat percentage (BF%) and body mass index (BMI) percentile rank, and the relationship between the two in 332 (177 boys, 155 girls) 12- to 17-year-old children. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using measured height and body mass, and sex-specific BMI for age percentile rank was determined using CDC growth charts. Body fat percentage (BF%) was measured with DEXA. Fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) were calculated by normalizing the fat mass and fat-free mass for height. Compared to boys of the same age, girls had significantly higher BF% and FMI values and lower FFMI values. Compared to boys, at a given BMI percentile rank, females had a higher BF% and FMI, and a lower FFMI. In both boys and girls, there was an exponential increase in adiposity above the 70th percentile rank. BMI percentile rank is not an equivalent indicator of body fatness in boys and girls. Other measures of body composition can further inform the practitioner of a child’s adiposity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood and Adolescent Obesity and Weight Management Update)
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Brief Report
Unexpected Huge Prevalence of Intracardiac Extension of Wilms Tumor—A Single Center Experience from a Ugandan Hospital
Children 2022, 9(5), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050743 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Wilms tumor (WT) is the most common primary renal malignancy in young children. WT vascular extension to the inferior vena cava (IVC) occurs in 4–10% of cases and can reach the right atrium (RA) in 1%. Data on WT clinical presentation and outcome [...] Read more.
Wilms tumor (WT) is the most common primary renal malignancy in young children. WT vascular extension to the inferior vena cava (IVC) occurs in 4–10% of cases and can reach the right atrium (RA) in 1%. Data on WT clinical presentation and outcome in developing countries are limited. The aim of the present study is to describe the prevalence of intracardiac extension in a consecutive population of WT patients observed in a large non-profit Ugandan hospital. A total of 16 patients with a histological diagnosis of 29 WT were screened in a 6-month period. Patient n°2, a 3 y/o child, presented with a 3-week history of abdominal distension, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the lower limbs. A cardiovascular system exam showed rhythmic heart sounds, a heart rate of 110 beats per minute, and a pansystolic murmur on the tricuspid area; the abdomen was grossly distended with a palpable mass in the right flank, hepatomegaly, and splenomegaly. An abdomen ultrasound showed an intra-abdominal tumor, involving the right kidney and the liver and extended to the IVC. An ultrasound guided biopsy showed a picture consistent with WT. Cardiac echo showed a huge, mobile, cardiac mass attached to the right side of the interatrial septum, involving the tricuspid valve annulus, causing a “functional” tricuspid stenosis. The patient died of cardiogenic shock 7 days after admission. Patient n°3, a 3 y/o child, presented with analogue symptoms and the same diagnosis. The cardiac echo showed a round mass in the RA. Thirteen more patients were screened with cardiac echo, showing a normal heart picture. In our limited series, we found WT cardiac extension in three patients over 16 (19%). Cardiac echo performed routinely can lead to a better staging, prognostic, and therapeutic assessment. In our setting, the intra-cardiac extension could be more frequent than previously reported and might have prognostic implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress of the Pediatric Cardiology)
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Editorial
Child Health and Surgery: A Challenge for Future Clinical Research
Children 2022, 9(5), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050742 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Pediatric surgical conditions cross a broad range of disease categories and includes injuries, infections, tumors, rare disease and congenital anomalies [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Health and Surgery)
Article
Toothbrushing and Oral Care Activities of Autistic and Non-Autistic Latino Children
Children 2022, 9(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050741 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Background: Oral care activities, e.g., toothbrushing, are habitual occupations often considered routine. However, for autistic children, performing these routine dental practices can be challenging due to the child’s sensory sensitivities, unique executive function, and the complicated way in which autistic children conceptualize structure [...] Read more.
Background: Oral care activities, e.g., toothbrushing, are habitual occupations often considered routine. However, for autistic children, performing these routine dental practices can be challenging due to the child’s sensory sensitivities, unique executive function, and the complicated way in which autistic children conceptualize structure and habits. Limited research exists exploring the nuances of oral care routines in the autistic population, and more knowledge is needed to support targeted education interventions to improve oral care and address health inequities. The purpose of this study was to examine videos of oral care routines in the home to understand how oral care activities, such as toothbrushing, were performed by autistic and non-autistic Latino/a children. Methods: Parents/caregivers from eighteen Latino/a families with children between 6 and 12 years old (n = 10 autistic children and n = 8 non-autistic children) video recorded their child’s oral care routines for three days. The research team blindly coded and analyzed these videos using an oral care observation template to understand how these activities were uniquely performed by the children. Results: Eighty-five oral care videos were analyzed for this study. In addition to noting areas of oral care that can be improved, which included length of brushing and using the correct brushing technique, we identified two themes related to the differences between oral care practices in the autistic and non-autistic children: parent involvement and modifications. Conclusions: Qualitative findings show that parental involvement was documented especially in the case of autistic children, and that two types of modifications, habitual and sensory, were observed that demonstrated parents being aware of the needs of their autistic child and modifying the oral care activity to meet those needs. By synthesizing observations from the oral care videos into suggestions for practitioners working with families, we hope to supplement knowledge about effective oral care practices for autistic and non-autistic Latino/a children, thereby improving overall oral health and reducing oral health inequities in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Oral Health)
Review
Novel Biomarkers of Heart Failure in Pediatrics
Children 2022, 9(5), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050740 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Novel biomarkers of heart failure are the subject of numerous studies. Biomarkers of heart failure can be determined in the blood and in the urine. Seven groups of biomarkers of heart failure based on pathophysiological mechanisms are presented in this review, namely biomarkers [...] Read more.
Novel biomarkers of heart failure are the subject of numerous studies. Biomarkers of heart failure can be determined in the blood and in the urine. Seven groups of biomarkers of heart failure based on pathophysiological mechanisms are presented in this review, namely biomarkers of myocardial stretch, myocyte injury, myocardial remodeling, biomarkers of inflammation, renal dysfunction, neurohumoral activation, and oxidative stress. Studies of biomarkers in the pediatric population are scarce, therefore, further investigation is needed for reliable prognostic and therapeutic implications. The future of biomarker use is in multimarker panels that include a combination of biomarkers with different pathophysiological mechanisms in order to improve their diagnostic and prognostic predictive value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiovascular Disease in Children)
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Article
Impact of Parental Primary Spoken Language on Postoperative Pain Management in Children, a Retrospective Cohort Study
Children 2022, 9(5), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050739 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Background: Healthcare providers encounter varying languages every day in patient care. The goal of this study was to examine whether a difference exists in pain scoring and treatment amongst pediatric patients whose families’ primary language was not English. We hypothesized that patients of [...] Read more.
Background: Healthcare providers encounter varying languages every day in patient care. The goal of this study was to examine whether a difference exists in pain scoring and treatment amongst pediatric patients whose families’ primary language was not English. We hypothesized that patients of both Arabic-speaking (AS) and Spanish-speaking (SS) backgrounds received higher pain scores and higher daily opioid equivalents (OEs) postoperatively compared to English-speaking (ES) patients. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing surgery for treatment of various esophageal and airway disorders from 2014 to 2019. Records were queried for patients undergoing thoracotomies for treatment of esophageal and airway disorders. Analysis was focused on the three most common languages in this selected population: English, Arabic, and Spanish. Propensity score matching was utilized for comparisons of pain scores between AS, SS, and ES patient groups. Primary outcomes were opioid equivalents (OEs) and pain scores postoperatively. Multivariable median regression analysis was used to perform an adjusted comparison of pain scores as well as OEs. Results: A total of 610 patient encounters were included in our analysis. In propensity matched analysis, there were no significant differences in OEs between all groups postoperatively. However, statistically significant higher pain scores were reported in the ES group matched AS groups. Conclusions: Language differences did not lead to difference in pain assessment and treatment. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Trunk Motion between Moderate AIS and Healthy Children
Children 2022, 9(5), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050738 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Analysis of kinematic and postural data of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients seems relevant for a better understanding of biomechanical aspects involved in AIS and its etiopathogenesis. The present project aimed at investigating kinematic differences and asymmetries in early AIS in a static [...] Read more.
Analysis of kinematic and postural data of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients seems relevant for a better understanding of biomechanical aspects involved in AIS and its etiopathogenesis. The present project aimed at investigating kinematic differences and asymmetries in early AIS in a static task and in uniplanar trunk movements (rotations, lateral bending, and forward bending). Trunk kinematics and posture were assessed using a 3D motion analysis system and a force plate. A total of fifteen healthy girls, fifteen AIS girls with a left lumbar main curve, and seventeen AIS girls with a right thoracic main curve were compared. Statistical analyses were performed to investigate presumed differences between the three groups. This study showed kinematic and postural differences between mild AIS patients and controls such as static imbalance, a reduced range of motion in the frontal plane, and a different kinematic strategy in lateral bending. These differences mainly occurred in the same direction, whatever the type of scoliosis, and suggested that AIS patients behave similarly from a dynamic point of view. Full article
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Article
Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Home-Based, Multidisciplinary, Family-Centered Pediatric Obesity Intervention: The ProxOb Program
Children 2022, 9(5), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050737 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Although family-based interventions have been suggested as promising approaches for preventing and treating pediatric obesity, available studies failed to include the whole family in its own natural environment and routine. This paper aims to detail the development, implementation, and evaluation phases of the [...] Read more.
Although family-based interventions have been suggested as promising approaches for preventing and treating pediatric obesity, available studies failed to include the whole family in its own natural environment and routine. This paper aims to detail the development, implementation, and evaluation phases of the ProxOb home-based, family-centered program and present its feasibility and early results. ProxOb provides families with a 6-month multidisciplinary, home-based, and family-centered intervention followed by an 18-month maintenance phase. A global psychosocial, clinical, and behavior evaluation was conducted at baseline (T0) at the end of the 6-month intervention (T1) and after the 18-month maintenance phase (T2). A total of 130 families with at least one child with obesity completed the ProxOb program so far, and more than 90% of them also presented at least one parent with overweight or obesity. Being part of a single-parent family seemed to increase the chance of completing the intervention (63.0% vs. 33.3% in the drop-outers subgroup, p = 0.03). The BMI z-score for children with obesity (T0 = 4.38 ± 1.05; T1 = 4.06 ± 1.07; T2 = 4.29 ± 1.12) significantly decreased between T0 and T1, followed by weight regain at T2. ProxOb proposes a feasible and replicable real-life approach to address childhood obesity while involving the children’s family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global and Public Health)
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Article
Perceived Changes in Emotions, Worries and Everyday Behaviors in Children and Adolescents Aged 5–18 Years with Type 1 Diabetes during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Children 2022, 9(5), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050736 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures may be related to increased stress and anxiety and to changes in daily behaviors. Children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are a vulnerable group due to their difficulties in achieving glycemic control and to their [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures may be related to increased stress and anxiety and to changes in daily behaviors. Children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are a vulnerable group due to their difficulties in achieving glycemic control and to their medical and psychological comorbidities. The purpose of the current study was to the investigate the changes on emotional and behavioral parameters in children with T1D due to the Coronavirus crisis. A total of 152 children and adolescents, aged 5–18, were studied: 114 (62 boys) with T1D and 38 (19 boys) healthy volunteers (HV) (controls). The study was performed at the Diabetes Center, Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital, during the first national lockdown in Greece. The CRISIS questionnaire was completed by parents/caregivers. The data were collected in May 2020 and referred to two time-points: three months prior (before the pandemic), and the past two weeks. During the lockdown, it was observed significant aggravation in the “Emotion/Worries (EW)” symptoms in both groups (logEW-before vs. logEW-during the crisis, T1D: 2.66 ± 0.23 vs. 3.00 ± 0.21, p < 0.001 and HV: 2.62 ± 0.16 vs. 2.83 ± 0.18, p < 0.001). Deterioration of “ΕW” was recorded for 93.0% of those with T1D and 92.1% of the HV. “EW” during the lockdown were affected by: previous psychological condition, COVID-related concerns, and “Life Changes due to the COVID-19 crisis in the past two weeks (LC)”. Deterioration was observed in the “daily behaviors” and “use of digital media” for all of the children. The crisis and the associated restrictions negatively affected both the lifestyle parameters and the behavioral and emotional variables of the children with T1D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics)
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Article
COVID-19-Related Anxiety Symptoms among Quarantined Adolescents and Its Impact on Sleep Pattern Changes and Somatic Symptoms
Children 2022, 9(5), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050735 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Background: Home-quarantine due to COVID-19 may have negative psychological effects on vulnerable sub-groups such as children and adolescents. We aimed to explore the prevalence of anxiety among adolescents who were in home-quarantine and its impact on onset of sleep disturbance and somatic symptoms, [...] Read more.
Background: Home-quarantine due to COVID-19 may have negative psychological effects on vulnerable sub-groups such as children and adolescents. We aimed to explore the prevalence of anxiety among adolescents who were in home-quarantine and its impact on onset of sleep disturbance and somatic symptoms, and on the level of agreement between adolescent and parent perceptions. Methods: Five hundred adolescents (ages 10–17) and 500 parents participated in the study. Adolescents filled out PROMIS Anxiety, PROMIS Sleep Disturbance, and PHQ-15 Physical-Symptom forms, while their parents completed proxy questionnaires containing the same domains. Results: 38% of the adolescents reported experiencing anxiety during home-quarantine period, 29% suffered from sleep disturbance, and 48% reported somatic symptoms. Addition of one day in home-quarantine was significantly associated with sleep disturbance (OR = 3.78, 95%CI: 1.09–8.45) and somatic symptoms (OR = 1.80, 95%CI: 1.01–3.08); female gender was associated with increased risk for somatic symptoms (OR = 2.15, 95%CI: 1.07–4.55); poor agreement in levels of anxiety, sleep disturbance and somatic symptoms was found between adolescent and parent reports (ICCs of 0.197–0.262). Discussion: Total isolation from household members during home-quarantine may cause anxiety, sleep disturbance, and somatization among adolescents. Achieving the appropriate balance between infection control and mitigation of the potential adverse psychological effect of home-quarantine among children and adolescents should be immediate priorities for policymakers. Full article
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