Special Issue "10th Anniversary of Children: Challenges and Opportunities towards the Future"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 4775

Special Issue Editor

Departments of Child Health and Neurology, University of Missouri, 400 Keene Street, Columbia, MI 65201, USA
Interests: children’s health; pediatric sleep medicine; pediatric epilepsy; biomedical engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Children is celebrating its 10th anniversary. During this time, Children has made significant process.  Over these years, the number of published papers, the number of full-text downloads, the number of citations, the Impact Factor, and the submission-to-publication time have consistently and steadily improved. The scope of the journal is comprehensive, and includes almost every aspect of childhood health and disease. The Editorial Board is composed of a relatively small but great mix of highly accomplished and well-established academics and practitioners, representing many countries. I hope that the members of our Editorial Board will contribute to the “10th Anniversary” Special Issue by writing papers in their respective areas of expertise reflecting the scope of the journal, covering historical trends, current challenges, the state-of-the-art, creative and innovative solutions, and future developments in clinical, epidemiological and translational science relevant to children’s health and disease.

Prof. Dr. Paul R. Carney
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • public health and epidemiology
  • global health
  • general pediatrics
  • pediatric subspecialties
  • pediatric hospitalist medicine
  • health service and health policy research

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Household Wealth Gradient in Low Birthweight in India: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
Children 2023, 10(7), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071271 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 460
Abstract
A low birthweight is a common complication that can result from numerous physiological, environmental, and socioeconomic factors, and can put babies at an increased risk for health issues such as breathing difficulties, developmental delays, and even death in severe cases. In this analysis, [...] Read more.
A low birthweight is a common complication that can result from numerous physiological, environmental, and socioeconomic factors, and can put babies at an increased risk for health issues such as breathing difficulties, developmental delays, and even death in severe cases. In this analysis, I aim to assess the differences in the burden of low birthweight based on household wealth status in India using data from the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS 2019–21). The sample population includes 161,596 mother–child dyads. A low birthweight is defined as a weight that is <2500 g at birth. I used descriptive and multivariate regression analyses in R studio to analyse the data. The findings show that 16.86% of the babies had a low birthweight. At the state level, the percentage of low birthweights ranges from 3.85% in Nagaland to 21.81% in Punjab. The mean birthweights range from 2759.68 g in the poorest, 2808.01 g in the poorer, 2838.17 g in the middle, 2855.06 g in the richer, and 2871.30 g in the richest wealth quintile households. The regression analysis indicates that higher wealth index quintiles have progressively lower risks of low birthweight, with the association being stronger in the rural areas. Compared with the poorest wealth quintile households, the risk ratio of low birthweight was 0.90 times lower for the poorer households and 0.74 times lower for the richest households. These findings indicate that household wealth condition is an important predictor of low birthweight by which low-income households are disproportionately affected. As wealth inequality continues to rise in India, health policymakers must take the necessary measures to support the vulnerable populations in order to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. Full article
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Article
The Association between the First Cry and Clinical Outcomes in CDH Neonates: A Retrospective Study
Children 2023, 10(7), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071145 - 30 Jun 2023
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a life-threatening condition characterized by the herniation of abdominal organs into the thorax, resulting in hypoplastic lungs and pulmonary hypertension. The impact of the first cry, a crucial event for lung transition during birth, on CDH patients remains [...] Read more.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a life-threatening condition characterized by the herniation of abdominal organs into the thorax, resulting in hypoplastic lungs and pulmonary hypertension. The impact of the first cry, a crucial event for lung transition during birth, on CDH patients remains unclear. This study investigated the impact of the first cry during birth on CDH patient survival, along with other prognosis factors. A multi-institutional retrospective study assessed CDH patient characteristics and survival rates by analyzing factors including the first cry, disease severity, birth weight, Apgar scores, oxygenation index (OI) and surgical closure. Among the CDH patients in the study, a positive first cry was linked to 100% survival, regardless of disease severity (p < 0.001). Notably, the presence of a positive first cry did not significantly affect survival rates in patients with worse prognostic factors, such as low birth weight (<2500 g), high CDH severity, low Apgar scores (1 min ≤ 4), high best OI within 24 h after birth (≥8), or those who underwent patch closure. Furthermore, no significant association was found between the first cry and the use of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In conclusion, this study suggests that the first cry may not have a negative impact on the prognosis of CDH patients and could potentially have a positive effect. Full article
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Article
Association of Atherogenic Index of Plasma with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Markers in Lean 14-to-20-Year-Old Individuals: A Cross-Sectional Study
Children 2023, 10(7), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071144 - 30 Jun 2023
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Cardiometabolic risk factors at a young age pose a significant risk for developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Atherogenic dyslipidemia is highly associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome already in young age. It remains unclear whether cardiometabolic risk factors associate with the atherogenic [...] Read more.
Cardiometabolic risk factors at a young age pose a significant risk for developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Atherogenic dyslipidemia is highly associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome already in young age. It remains unclear whether cardiometabolic risk factors associate with the atherogenic index of plasma (AIP = log (TAG/HDL-C) in lean subjects with low atherogenic risk. As both the AIP and markers of cardiometabolic risk are continuous variables, we expected their association to be linear before the manifestation of obesity and atherogenic dyslipidemia. We analyzed the prevalence of increased atherogenic risk (AIP ≥ 0.11) in 2012 lean 14-to-20-year-old subjects (55% females) and the trends of cardiometabolic risk factors across the quartiles (Q) of AIP in a subgroup of 1947 (56% females) subjects with low atherogenic risk (AIP < 0.11). The prevalence of AIP ≥ 0.11 reached 3.6% in females and 8.5% in males. HDL-C, non-HDL-C, triglycerides, and the continuous metabolic syndrome score showed a stepwise worsening across the AIP quartiles in both sexes. Measures of obesity and insulin resistance were worse in Q4 vs. Q1 groups, and leukocyte counts were higher in Q4 and Q3 vs. Q1. Females in Q4 presented with a higher C-reactive protein and lower adiponectin, estradiol, and testosterone levels. The multivariate regression model selected non-HDL-C, QUICKI, and erythrocyte counts as significant predictors of AIP in males; and non-HDL-C and C-reactive protein in females. A question arises whether the lean individuals on the upper edge of low atherogenic risk are prone to earlier manifestation of metabolic syndrome and shift to the higher AIP risk group. Full article
Article
Who Is Best Placed to Support Cyber Responsibilized UK Parents?
Children 2023, 10(7), 1130; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10071130 - 29 Jun 2023
Viewed by 565
Abstract
The UK government responsibilizes its citizens when it comes to their cyber security, as do other countries. Governments provide excellent advice online, but do not provide any other direct support. Responsibilization is viable when: (1) risk management activities require only ubiquitous skills, (2) [...] Read more.
The UK government responsibilizes its citizens when it comes to their cyber security, as do other countries. Governments provide excellent advice online, but do not provide any other direct support. Responsibilization is viable when: (1) risk management activities require only ubiquitous skills, (2) a failure to manage the risk does not affect others in the person’s community. Cybersecurity fails on both counts. Consider that parents and carers are effectively being responsibilized to educate their children about cybersecurity, given that young children cannot be expected to consult and act upon government advice. Previous research suggests that UK parents embrace this responsibility but need help in keeping up to date with cybersecurity ‘best practice’. In this paper, we consider a number of possible sources of parental advice, and conclude that support workers would be best placed to support parents in this domain. We then carried out a study to gauge the acceptability of this source of help. We find that parents would be willing to accept advice from this source, and suggest that cybersecurity academics be recruited to train support workers to ensure that they have current ‘best practice’ cybersecurity knowledge to impart to parents. Full article
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Article
Parent Perceptions of an Early Childhood System’s Community Efforts: A Qualitative Analysis
Children 2023, 10(6), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10061001 - 02 Jun 2023
Viewed by 626
Abstract
Understanding how parents, and other primary caregivers, perceive and experience early childhood programs and services is essential for identifying family-centered facilitators and barriers to service utilization. Therefore, this paper aims to explore parent knowledge of and experiences with community efforts of an early [...] Read more.
Understanding how parents, and other primary caregivers, perceive and experience early childhood programs and services is essential for identifying family-centered facilitators and barriers to service utilization. Therefore, this paper aims to explore parent knowledge of and experiences with community efforts of an early childhood system in Illinois: the All Our Kids Early Childhood Networks (AOK Networks). Our research team conducted focus group interviews with 20 parents across four Illinois counties. A semi-structured interview guide was used to examine parent perceptions of an early childhood system’s community efforts in promoting the health and well-being of children aged from birth to five. Thematic network analysis was used to analyze all focus group data. Parents indicated three salient themes, including: (1) comprehensive information sharing practices, (2) diverse service engagement, and (3) barriers to service access. Overall, parents reported general satisfaction with the quality of available services and provided feedback regarding identified areas of need to increase the accessibility and utilization of local services. Engaging parents as partners is essential to the effective implementation of family-centered early childhood services. Families are the experts of their lived experiences, and incorporating their voices in program development and evaluation efforts works to increase positive child and family outcomes. Full article
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Article
Psychological Burden during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Female Caregivers of Preterm versus Term Born Children
Children 2023, 10(5), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10050787 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Background: during the COVID-19 pandemic, psychological burden increased. Contact restrictions were predominantly stressful for families. Parenthood was reported to be especially challenging for parents of preterm children. Material and Methods: a cross-sectional online-based survey on the psychological burden of parents of preterm and [...] Read more.
Background: during the COVID-19 pandemic, psychological burden increased. Contact restrictions were predominantly stressful for families. Parenthood was reported to be especially challenging for parents of preterm children. Material and Methods: a cross-sectional online-based survey on the psychological burden of parents of preterm and full-term born infants and toddlers during the second lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany was offered by social media, webpages, etc. Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), COVID-19 Anxiety (C-19-A), COVID-19-related child protection behavior (PB) were used. Results: 2742 parents—predominantly females—took part in the study, 2025 parents of full-term and 717 parents of preterm born children. Female caregivers of full-term children reported significantly more depression symptoms than those of preterm children during the second lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PB correlated with increased COVID-19 anxiety as well as with increased generalized anxiety and depression symptoms. Female caregivers of preterm children showed significantly more protection behavior than those of full-term born children. Full article
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Review

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Review
Multiple Sclerosis—Related Dietary and Nutritional Issues: An Updated Scoping Review with a Focus on Pediatrics
Children 2023, 10(6), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10061022 - 07 Jun 2023
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Purpose. Lifestyle/dietetic habits play an important role in the development and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease. Here, we examine the basic pathomechanisms underlying intestinal and brain barrier modifications in MS and consider diets and dietary supplementations proposed over time to complement pharmacological [...] Read more.
Purpose. Lifestyle/dietetic habits play an important role in the development and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease. Here, we examine the basic pathomechanisms underlying intestinal and brain barrier modifications in MS and consider diets and dietary supplementations proposed over time to complement pharmacological therapies for improving disease outcome both in adults and in children. Methods. Scoping literature search about evidence-based findings in MS-related gut-brain axis (GBA) pathophysiology and nutritional issues at all ages. Findings. Data show that (1) no universal best diet exists, (2) healthy/balanced diets are, however, necessary to safeguard the adequate intake of all essential nutrients, (3) diets with high intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins that limit processed foods, sugar, and saturated fat appear beneficial for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to shape a gut microbiota that respects the gut and brain barriers, (4) obesity may trigger MS onset and/or its less favorable course, especially in pediatric-onset MS. Vitamin D and polyunsaturated fatty acids are the most studied supplements for reducing MS-associated inflammation. Conclusions. Pending results from other and/or newer approaches targeting the GBA (e.g., pre- and probiotics, engineered probiotics, fecal-microbiota transplantation), accurate counseling in choosing adequate diet and maintaining physical activity remains recommended for MS prevention and management both in adults and children. Full article
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