Special Issue "Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "School Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (14 October 2021) | Viewed by 18366

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cristina Lidón-Moyano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Group of Evaluation of Health Determinants and Health Policies, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC-Barcelona), 08195 Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain
Interests: smoking control; third-hand smoke, smoke exposure determinants; tobacco control policies; nicotine dependence; roll-your-own cigarettes; electronic cigarettes; tobacco consumption and exposure biomarkers; other addictive substances and addiction; self-harm and suicide
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Adrián González-Marrón
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
International University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: My main area of expertise is the epidemiology of tobacco use and lung cancer prevention activities, with a focus on women. Also interested in many other areas of public health, such as emerging zoonoses and food-related illnesses and nutrition disorders.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aim of this Special Issue is to update researchers on health challenges currently facing children and adolescents. The main health issues of interest include relatively new concepts such as the challenges and burden of the coronavirus pandemic, exposure to third-hand smoke, use of electronic cigarettes, consumption of new drugs, screen exposure (including social-media use), or diets high in ultra-processed foods. Moreover, areas where health outcomes are falling short will also be considered, which according to the World Health Organization include injuries, mental health, violence, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, early pregnancy and childbirth, alcohol and drugs, obesity, nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, undernutrition and obesity, physical activity (inactivity), tobacco use, and rights of adolescents.

Dr. Cristina Lidón-Moyano
Dr. Adrián González-Marrón
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Child and adolescent health
  • Coronavirus
  • Tobacco use and exposure
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Screen exposure
  • Nutrition
  • Injuries
  • Mental Health
  • Violence
  • Sexual and reproductive health

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Sex Differences in Pre-Season Anthropometric, Balance and Range-of-Motion Characteristics in Elite Youth Soccer Players
Healthcare 2022, 10(5), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10050819 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 318
Abstract
In soccer, injury epidemiology differs between males and females. It is clinically useful to know whether there are between-sex differences in selected characteristics relevant to primary injury risk and injury prevention practices. The purpose of this study was to explore between-sex differences in [...] Read more.
In soccer, injury epidemiology differs between males and females. It is clinically useful to know whether there are between-sex differences in selected characteristics relevant to primary injury risk and injury prevention practices. The purpose of this study was to explore between-sex differences in anthropometric, balance, and range-of-motion characteristics in Spanish elite male and female youth soccer players. This was a pre-season cross-sectional study. Sixty-nine males (age 16.8 ± 0.9 yr; height 175.9 ± 6.8 cm; mass 67.9 ± 6.3 kg) and thirty-seven females (age 17.2 ± 1.7 yr; height 164.0 ± 6.3 cm; mass 59.0 ± 5.8 kg) participated. Anthropometrics (standing/sitting height, bodymass, right/left leg length) and right/left anterior reach test (ART), hip internal/external active range of motion, active knee extension (AKE), and weightbearing lunge test (WBLT) were measured. Between-sex differences were assessed with Bonferroni-corrected Mann–Whitney U tests and Cliff’s delta (d). Between-sex significant differences (p < 0.003, d ≥ 0.50) were observed for anthropometric data and for hip internal rotation. No between-sex significant differences were observed for ART/AKE/WBLT measures. Between-sex significant differences with large effect sizes were identified for anthropometric data and right/left hip internal rotation. The present study adds new data to the literature for young Spanish male and female soccer players. The present findings will help inform clinical reasoning processes and future injury prevention research for elite male and female youth soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
Prevalence of Health Problems Targeted by the National School-Based Screening Program among Primary School Students in Saudi Arabia, 2019
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101310 - 30 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1208
Abstract
The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) established a National School-Based Screening Program (NSBSP) for health screening of schoolchildren. Students from specific grades were systematically screened for several health problems, including obesity, visual and auditory problems, dental cavities, scoliosis, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This [...] Read more.
The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) established a National School-Based Screening Program (NSBSP) for health screening of schoolchildren. Students from specific grades were systematically screened for several health problems, including obesity, visual and auditory problems, dental cavities, scoliosis, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence of these health problems among primary school students based on secondary data obtained from the NSBSP. We included 444,259 screened school children from the first and fourth grades of 50% of the selected schools (both private and public) across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) during the academic year 2018–2019. Among them, the most prevalent health problems identified were dental cavities (38.7%), eye refractory errors (10.9%), and overweight and obesity (10.5%); the less prevalent problems included ADHD (2.81%), auditory problems (0.6%), and scoliosis (0.48%). A greater prevalence of most health problems was observed in girls more than boys. The NSBSP successfully aided the detection of health conditions with high and low prevalence among primary school students in the KSA, and thus, the identification of health problems of specific concern. Implementation of effective school health services for the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of these health problems are imperative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
Factors Associated with Cigarette, E-Cigarette, and Dual Use among South Korean Adolescents
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101252 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 595
Abstract
Dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes has become common among Korean adolescents but has decreased among adults. Dual use refers to using two tobacco products; however, in this study, it is defined as using both e-cigarettes and cigarettes. We assessed the prevalence of [...] Read more.
Dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes has become common among Korean adolescents but has decreased among adults. Dual use refers to using two tobacco products; however, in this study, it is defined as using both e-cigarettes and cigarettes. We assessed the prevalence of dual use among Korean adolescents and its relationship with socio-demographic, smoking-related characteristics, and other risk behaviors. The 2019 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey’s data on 57,303 adolescents were analyzed using logistic regression. Overall, 13.8% had recently (in the past 30 days), used some type of cigarette, 3.3% were dual users, 3.4% exclusively smoked conventional cigarettes, and 0.6% exclusively vaped e-cigarettes. After adjusting for socio-demographic and psychological factors, substance use, smoking initiation by 13 years, secondhand smoke in school and public, and amount of cigarette consumption proved significant for all cigarette user types. Dual use was strongly associated with younger age (≤15 years), cigarette smoking initiation before 13 years, secondhand smoke exposure at school, and heavy cigarette smoking. Limited smoking cessation attempts, secondhand smoke exposure in public, and ease of cigarette purchases decrease the odds of adolescents becoming dual users. Thus, surveillance and enforcement of the juvenile protection measures need updating to prevent a shift into dual use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
SARS-CoV-2 in Pediatric Inpatient Care: Management, Clinical Presentation and Utilization of Healthcare Capacity
Healthcare 2021, 9(9), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9091190 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
This study scrutinizes management and clinical presentation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in pediatric inpatient care and evaluates the utilization of pediatric healthcare capacity during the pandemic. Within this retrospective cohort study, we systematically reviewed data of all 16,785 [...] Read more.
This study scrutinizes management and clinical presentation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in pediatric inpatient care and evaluates the utilization of pediatric healthcare capacity during the pandemic. Within this retrospective cohort study, we systematically reviewed data of all 16,785 pediatric patients (<18 years admitted to our clinical center between January 2018 and June 2021). Data on SARS-CoV-2 test numbers, hospital admissions and clinical characteristics of infected patients were collected. Since January 2020, a total of 2513 SARS-CoV-2 tests were performed. In total, 36 patients had a positive test result. In total, 25 out of 36 SARS-CoV-2 positive children showed at least mild clinical symptoms while 11 were asymptomatic. Most common clinical symptoms were fever (60%), cough (60%) and rhinitis (20%). In parallel with the rising slope of SARS-CoV-2 in spring and fall 2020, we observed a slight decrease in the number of patients admitted to the pediatric department while the median duration of hospital treatment and intensive care occupancy remained unchanged. This study underlines that SARS-CoV-2 infected children most frequently exhibit an asymptomatic or mild clinical course. Noteworthy, the number of hospital admissions went down during the pandemic. The health and economic consequences need to be discussed within health care society and politics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
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Article
Regular Taekwondo Training Affects Mood State and Sociality but Not Cognitive Function among International Students in South Korea
Healthcare 2021, 9(7), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9070820 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 723
Abstract
We aimed to investigate the effect of Taekwondo training on physical fitness, mood, sociality, and cognitive function among international students in South Korea. We randomly assigned 24 international students to a control group (CG, n = 12) and experimental group (EG, n = [...] Read more.
We aimed to investigate the effect of Taekwondo training on physical fitness, mood, sociality, and cognitive function among international students in South Korea. We randomly assigned 24 international students to a control group (CG, n = 12) and experimental group (EG, n = 12). The EG performed Taekwondo training for 16 weeks, while the CG did not train. Each participant underwent a physical fitness test and sociability questionnaire before and after the intervention. We also examined changes in mood state and cognitive function, using the Korean version of the Profile of Mood State-Brief (K-POMS-B), and the Stroop Color and Word test, respectively. Regarding the physical fitness variables, sit-and-reach records in the EG significantly increased after intervention (p < 0.05). In the sub-variable of K-POMS-B, Vigor-Activity scores significantly increased (p < 0.05) after intervention, while the Fatigue-Inertia scores significantly decreased in the EG (p < 0.05). Furthermore, in the EG, peer relationship scores, a sub-variable of sociability, significantly decreased after intervention (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that Taekwondo training can not only improve flexibility among physical fitness factors, but can also be effective in improving the mood state and sociality of international students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
Development and Content Validity of the Physical Activity Questionnaire-Young Children (PAQ-YC) to Assess Physical Activity in Children between 5 and 7 Years
Healthcare 2021, 9(6), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9060655 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Childhood is a critical period in the development and consolidation of healthy habits, such as the practice of physical activity (PA). It is essential to have valid instruments to measure PA from an early age. The aim of this study was to design [...] Read more.
Childhood is a critical period in the development and consolidation of healthy habits, such as the practice of physical activity (PA). It is essential to have valid instruments to measure PA from an early age. The aim of this study was to design and evaluate the content validity of the Physical Activity Questionnaire-Young Children (PAQ-YC) to measure the PA level in children aged 5–7 years. The first version of the questionnaire was tested by a 2-round Delphi study. It was established as a consensus criterion that the relative interquartile range (RIR) and/or the coefficient of variation (CV) were ≤20%. The most significant discrepancies in the Delphi survey (n = 11–13) were observed for items about hours of Physical Education or similar activities at school (item 7: RIR = 20, CV = 38.73) and for items about participation in Physical Education (item 8: RIR = 25, CV = 15.45). The cognitive interviews (n = 5) confirmed the version agreed by the experts. The results show that the PAQ-YC presents adequate content validity in terms of relevance, comprehensiveness and comprehensibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
Effects of School-Based Exercise Program on Obesity and Physical Fitness of Urban Youth: A Quasi-Experiment
Healthcare 2021, 9(3), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9030358 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
(1) Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate if an after-school intervention program could prevent obesity and promote the physical fitness of urban sedentary school children. (2) Methods: A 16-week after-school physical fitness program was provided to 36 middle school students [...] Read more.
(1) Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate if an after-school intervention program could prevent obesity and promote the physical fitness of urban sedentary school children. (2) Methods: A 16-week after-school physical fitness program was provided to 36 middle school students (7th, 8th, and 9th graders) recruited from a middle school for three days a week. They were high-risk youth showing poor health status (level 4 or 5) in the regular physical fitness evaluation conducted. Their body mass index (BMI), cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, quickness, and flexibility were evaluated. (3) Results: A paired sample t-test was used (α = 0.05). There were statistical differences ((x ± s), p < 0.05) between the pre-Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) (13.36 ± 4.98 (# of laps)) and post-PACER (18.64 ± 6.31 (# of laps)) (p < 0.001), between the pre-sit-up (18.06 ± 7.22 (# of sit-ups)) and post-sit-up (24.89 ± 7.52 (# of sit-ups)) (p < 0.001), and between the pre-Trunk Flexion (2.64 ± 3.49 ((cm))) and post-Trunk Flexion (5.97 ± 2.78 ((cm)) (p < 0.001). There was no statistical difference between the pre-50m-Run (10.74 ± 1.30 ((sec))) and post-50m-Run results (10.69 ± 1.25 (sec)) (p = 0.063) or between the pre-BMI (24.84 ± 3.97 (kg/m2)) and post-BMI (24.76 ± 3.61 (kg/m2)) (p = 0.458). Overall, the physical fitness measures improved, whereas BMI did not change after 16 weeks. (4) Conclusion: Sixteen weeks of the school-based Health-related Physical Fitness (HrPF) program can be effective in improving overall physical fitness levels of adolescents, although additional treatments would be required to change BMI, which showed no improvement in the present study. It is concluded that in order for adolescents to maintain and promote physical fitness and health, participation in a school-based HrPF program is recommended for at least 30 min a day, three days a week. In addition, schools should provide high-risk youth with easy access to physical activities that are similar to the objectives of the physical education curriculum. In order to promote the health of school-age children, each school should establish and operate school-based systematic intervention programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
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Article
Association between Leisure Screen Time and Junk Food Intake in a Nationwide Representative Sample of Spanish Children (1–14 Years): A Cross-Sectional Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020228 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Evidence on the association between new patterns of leisure screen time and junk food consumption in Spanish children at the national level is scarce. The aim of this study is to assess the relation between daily leisure screen time and the frequency of [...] Read more.
Evidence on the association between new patterns of leisure screen time and junk food consumption in Spanish children at the national level is scarce. The aim of this study is to assess the relation between daily leisure screen time and the frequency of sweet, soft drink, fast food, and snack intake in a representative sample of Spanish children and adolescents aged from 1 to 14 years. We conducted a cross-sectional study using a representative sample of the Spanish population under 15 years recruited for the 2017 Spanish National Health Survey (n = 5480). We dichotomized sweet, soft drink, fast food, and snack intake (high/low) and categorized daily leisure screen time (0–59, 60–119, 120–179, and ≥180 min). We calculated crude prevalence ratios and adjusted prevalence ratios, and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), of high frequency of sweet, soft drink, fast food, and snack intake. Children spending at least one hour of daily leisure screen time had higher prevalence of high frequency of sweet and snack intake than children being exposed less than one hour. For soft drinks and fast food, prevalence of high frequency intake was significantly higher from two and three hours of exposure, respectively. Longer periods of screen exposure in Spanish children during their leisure time may be associated with poorer dietary behaviors. The negative effects of excessive screen time in pediatrics population should be further studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
Smartphone and Tablet Usage during COVID-19 Pandemic Confinement in Children under 48 Months in Barcelona (Spain)
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010096 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1837
Abstract
Background: Total lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic might have potentially increased screen time in children. This study aims to describe the smartphone and tablets usage in children under 48 months living in Barcelona during the COVID-19 confinement. Methods: Cross-sectional study using a non-probabilistic [...] Read more.
Background: Total lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic might have potentially increased screen time in children. This study aims to describe the smartphone and tablets usage in children under 48 months living in Barcelona during the COVID-19 confinement. Methods: Cross-sectional study using a non-probabilistic sample of parents with children under 48 months living in Barcelona (Spain) during COVID-19 confinement (n = 313). We calculated percentages of exposure to smartphones and tablets. Moreover, for those children were exposed, we calculated unadjusted and adjusted Geometric Mean Ratios (GMR) of daily smartphones and tablets usage and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) trough Generalized Linear Models with Gamma family and link log. Associations were adjusted for potential confounders. Results: During COVID-19 confinement, 67.5% of children under 48 months were daily exposed to smartphones and tablets. Further, those children who were exposed during meals, as well as before going to bed, spend longer durations using them, aGMR = 2.38 (95% CI 1.73, 3.34) and aGMR = 1.95 (95% CI 1.34, 2.91) respectively. Conclusion: Two out of three children under 48 months living in Barcelona were daily exposed to smartphones and tablets during total lockdown due to COVID-19. Taking this findings into account cohort studies are needed to assess any change in the screen time patterns due to total confinement in order to allow the Government help families, particularly those more vulnerable, in a possible pandemic resurgence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
Article
Adolescent Lifestyle Behaviors, Coping Strategies and Subjective Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Online Student Survey
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040472 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 7922
Abstract
Background and objectives: Adolescence represents a critical period for rapid psychophysical and socio-cognitive changes, with implications for health and wellbeing in later life. From this perspective, the manifestation of unhealthy lifestyles and dysfunctional behaviors may reflect a change in wellbeing requiring alertness and [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Adolescence represents a critical period for rapid psychophysical and socio-cognitive changes, with implications for health and wellbeing in later life. From this perspective, the manifestation of unhealthy lifestyles and dysfunctional behaviors may reflect a change in wellbeing requiring alertness and prompt intervention. This study investigated lifestyle behaviors and coping strategies among Italian adolescents, also in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and whether they would predict a change in subjective wellbeing. Materials and Methods: In the period between 1 April and 10 April 2020, adolescents aged 15–21 filled out an online survey consisting of 33 questions investigating socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle behaviors, coping strategies, and subjective wellbeing. Results: Data was available on 306 participants. Most adolescents planned their daily routine (57.8%), engaging in structured activities (17.6–67.3%) and developing new interests (54.6%), and gave a positive reading of the ongoing period (57.8%), thus revealing adaptive coping strategies. Family wise, even though it was hard to stay at home (66%) and difficulties emerged, including self-isolation (50.7%) and quarrels (31.7%), a relevant proportion of adolescents shared their feelings (40.5%) and revaluated their family relationships (29.4–39.7%). In terms of social and school engagement, almost all adolescents kept contacts with their partner, friends, and teachers (90.2–93.5%). School commitments at home were sufficiently preserved (63.1%), however adolescents expressed preoccupations about their educational path (56.2%). A change in subjective wellbeing (49.3%) and symptoms of anxiety (39.9%) were frequently reported. A number of factors predicted a change in subjective wellbeing, including adaptive coping strategies (physical activity, OR = 2.609, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.297–5.247; engaging in different activities than before, OR = 2.212, 95% CI 1.157–4.230), family issues (finding hard to stay at home, OR = 3.852, 95% CI 1.953–7.599; having quarrels, OR = 2.158, 95% CI 1.122–4.150), school-related behaviors (fearing a negative educational outcome, OR = 1.971, 95% 1.063–3.655), and female gender (OR = 3.647, 95% CI 1.694–7.851). Conclusions: Both personal and environmental coping resources are relevant to subjective wellbeing in adolescence and should be taken into account for prevention and early intervention in youth mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Health Challenges for Child and Adolescent)
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