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1.  Prevalence of abuse among young children with femur fractures: a systematic review 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:169.
Clinical factors that affect the likelihood of abuse in children with femur fractures have not been well elucidated. Consequently, specifying which children with femur fractures warrant an abuse evaluation is difficult. Therefore the purpose of this study is to estimate the proportion of femur fractures in young children attributable to abuse and to identify demographic, injury and presentation characteristics that affect the probability that femur fractures are secondary to abuse.
We conducted a systematic review of published articles written in English between January 1990 and July 2013 on femur fracture etiology in children less than or equal to 5 years old based on searches in PubMed/MEDLINE and CINAHL databases. Data extraction was based on pre-defined data elements and included study quality indicators. A meta-analysis was not performed due to study population heterogeneity.
Across the 24 studies reviewed, there were a total of 10,717 children less than or equal to 60 months old with femur fractures. Among children less than 12 months old with all types of femur fractures, investigators found abuse rates ranging from 16.7% to 35.2%. Among children 12 months old or greater with femur fractures, abuse rates were lower: from 1.5% - 6.0%. In multiple studies, age less than 12 months, non-ambulatory status, a suspicious history, and the presence of additional injuries were associated with findings of abuse. Diaphyseal fractures were associated with a lower abuse incidence in multiple studies. Fracture side and spiral fracture type, however, were not associated with abuse.
Studies commonly find a high proportion of abuse among children less than 12 months old with femur fractures. The reported trauma history, physical examination findings and radiologic results must be examined for characteristics that increase or decrease the likelihood of abuse determination.
PMCID: PMC4085378  PMID: 24989500
Child abuse; Child maltreatment; Femur fracture; Accident; Trauma
2.  Early childhood risk and resilience factors for behavioural and emotional problems in middle childhood 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:166.
Mental disorders in childhood have a considerable health and societal impact but the associated negative consequences may be ameliorated through early identification of risk and protective factors that can guide health promoting and preventive interventions. The objective of this study was to inform health policy and practice through identification of demographic, familial and environmental factors associated with emotional or behavioural problems in middle childhood, and the predictors of resilience in the presence of identified risk factors.
A cohort of 706 mothers followed from early pregnancy was surveyed at six to eight years post-partum by a mail-out questionnaire, which included questions on demographics, children’s health, development, activities, media and technology, family, friends, community, school life, and mother’s health.
Although most children do well in middle childhood, of 450 respondents (64% response rate), 29.5% and 25.6% of children were found to have internalising and externalising behaviour problem scores in the lowest quintile on the NSCLY Child Behaviour Scales. Independent predictors for problem behaviours identified through multivariable logistic regression modelling included being male, demographic risk, maternal mental health risk, poor parenting interactions, and low parenting morale. Among children at high risk for behaviour problems, protective factors included high maternal and child self-esteem, good maternal emotional health, adequate social support, good academic performance, and adequate quality parenting time.
These findings demonstrate that several individual and social resilience factors can counter the influence of early adversities on the likelihood of developing problem behaviours in middle childhood, thus informing enhanced public health interventions for this understudied life course phase.
PMCID: PMC4083129  PMID: 24986740
3.  Performance of capnometry in non-intubated infants in the pediatric intensive care unit 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:163.
Assessing the ventilatory status of non-intubated infants in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a constant challenge. Methods to evaluate ventilation include arterial blood gas analysis (ABG), which is invasive and intermittent, and transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring (PtcCO2), which, while non-invasive, is also intermittent. A method that is non-invasive and continuous would be of great benefit in this population. We hypothesized that non-invasive capnometry via sidestream monitoring of exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) would provide an acceptable measurement of ventilatory status when compared to ABG or PtcCO2.
Preliminary prospective study of infants less than one year of age admitted to the PICU in a large urban teaching hospital. Infants not intubated and not requiring non-invasive ventilation were eligible. A sidestream CO2 reading was obtained in a convenience sample of 39 patients. A simultaneous ABG was collected in those with an arterial catheter, and a PtcCO2 was obtained in those without.
Correlation of sidestream CO2 with ABG was excellent (r2 = 0.907). Sidestream correlated less well with PtcCO2 (r2 = 0.649). Results were not significantly altered when weight and respiratory rate were added as independent variables. Bland-Altman analysis revealed a bias of -2.7 with a precision of ±6.5 when comparing sidestream CO2 to ABG, and a bias of -1.7 with a precision of ±9.9 when comparing sidestream CO2 to PtcCO2.
Performance of sidestream monitoring of exhaled CO2 is acceptable clinical trending to assess the effectiveness of ventilation in non-intubated infants in the PICU.
PMCID: PMC4080582  PMID: 24965523
Capnometry; Ventilation; Monitoring; Infants; Microstream; Carbon dioxide
4.  Perinatal mortality in pregnancies with omphalocele: data from the Chinese national birth defects monitoring network, 1996–2006 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:160.
Previous studies on the mortality rate of omphalocele are limited. The risk of death of non-isolated omphalocele and that of cases of omphalocele that are diagnosed prenatally by ultrasound are unclear. This study aimed to estimate the perinatal mortality of pregnancies with omphalocele. This study also examined the potential risk of death of non-isolated omphalocele and that of cases that are prenatally diagnosed by ultrasound.
Data were retrieved from the national birth defects registry in China, for 1996–2006. Multinomial logistic regression was used to calculate the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between perinatal mortality and selected maternal and fetal characteristics.
Among 827 cases of omphalocele, 309 (37.4%) cases resulted in termination of pregnancy and stillbirth, and 124 (15.0%) cases resulted in death in the first 7 days after delivery, yielding a perinatal mortality rate of 52.4% (95% CI: 49.0–55.8%). The late fetal death rate (LFDR) of omphalocele that was diagnosed prenatally by ultrasound was 15.91-fold (AOR: 15.91, 95% CI: 10.18–24.87) higher than that of postnatally diagnosed cases. The LFDR of non-isolated omphalocele was 2.64-fold (AOR: 2.64, 95% CI: 1.62–4.29) higher than that of isolated cases. For the early neonatal death rate, neonates with non-isolated omphalocele had a 2.96-fold (AOR: 2.96, 95% CI: 1.82–4.81) higher risk than isolated cases, but the difference between prenatal ultrasound diagnosis and postnatal diagnosis was not significant.
Selected fetal characteristics are significantly associated with the perinatal risk of death from omphalocele. Our findings suggest that improving pregnancy and delivery care, as well as management for omphalocele are important.
PMCID: PMC4075420  PMID: 24953381
Omphalocele; Abdominal wall defects; Mortality; Perinatal outcome; Associated anomalies; Prenatal diagnosis; Ultrasound
5.  Variability of physicians’ thresholds for neuroimaging in children with recurrent headache 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:162.
We sought to determine the extent to which physicians agree about the appropriate decision threshold for recommending magnetic resonance imaging in a clinical practice guideline for children with recurrent headache.
We surveyed attending physicians in Canada practicing in community pediatrics, child neurology, pediatric radiology, and pediatric neurosurgery. For children in each of six risk categories, physicians were asked to determine whether they would recommend for or against routine magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in a clinical practice guideline for children with recurrent headache.
Completed surveys were returned by 114 physicians. The proportion recommending routine neuroimaging for each risk group was 100% (50% risk), 99% (10% risk), 93% (4% risk), 54% (1% risk), 25% (0.4% risk), 4% (0.01% risk). Community pediatricians, physicians in practice >15 years, and physicians who believed they ordered neuroimaging less often than peers were less likely to recommend neuroimaging for the 1% risk group (all p < 0.05).
There is no consensus among pediatric specialists regarding the appropriate decision threshold for neuroimaging in a clinical practice guideline for children with recurrent headache. Because of the impact that individual threshold preferences may have on guidelines, these findings support the need for careful composition of guideline committees and consideration of the role of patient and family preferences. Our findings also support the need for transparency in guidelines regarding how evidence was translated into recommendations and how conflicts were resolved.
PMCID: PMC4079181  PMID: 24957861
Risk; Decision threshold; Clinical practice guideline; Medical decision-making; Headache
6.  The CANadian Pediatric Weight Management Registry (CANPWR): Study protocol 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:161.
Over recent decades, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased markedly in developed and developing countries, and the impact of obesity on health throughout the lifespan has led to urgent calls for action. Family-based weight management interventions that emphasize healthy lifestyle changes can lead to modest improvements in weight status of children with obesity. However, these interventions are generally short in duration, reported in the context of randomized controlled trials and there are few reports of outcomes of these treatment approaches in the clinical setting. Answering these questions is critical for improving the care of children with obesity accessing outpatient health services for weight management. In response, the CANadian Pediatric Weight management Registry (CANPWR) was designed with the following three primary aims:
1. Document changes in anthropometric, lifestyle, behavioural, and obesity-related co-morbidities in children enrolled in Canadian pediatric weight management programs over a three-year period;
2. Characterize the individual-, family-, and program-level determinants of change in anthropometric and obesity-related co-morbidities;
3. Examine the individual-, family-, and program-level determinants of program attrition.
This prospective cohort, multi-centre study will include children (2–17 years old; body mass index ≥85th percentile) enrolled in one of eight Canadian pediatric weight management centres. We will recruit 1,600 study participants over a three-year period. Data collection will occur at presentation and 6-, 12-, 24-, and 36-months follow-up. The primary study outcomes are BMI z-score and change in BMI z-score over time. Secondary outcomes include anthropometric (e.g., height, waist circumference,), cardiometabolic (e.g., blood pressure, lipid profile, glycemia), lifestyle (e.g., dietary intake, physical activity, sedentary activity), and psychosocial (e.g., health-related quality of life) variables. Potential determinants of change and program attrition will include individual-, family-, and program-level variables.
This study will enable our interdisciplinary team of clinicians, researchers, and trainees to address foundational issues regarding the management of pediatric obesity in Canada. It will also serve as a harmonized, evidence-based registry and platform for conducting future intervention research, which will ultimately enhance the weight management care provided to children with obesity and their families.
PMCID: PMC4082676  PMID: 24957705
Pediatric; Obesity; Family; Treatment; Canada; Health services
7.  Haemophilus influenzae type b as an important cause of culture-positive acute otitis media in young children in Thailand: a tympanocentesis-based, multi-center, cross-sectional study 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:157.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) and Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) are considered major causes of bacterial acute otitis media (AOM) worldwide, but data from Asia on primary causes of AOM are limited. This tympanocentesis-based, multi-center, cross-sectional study assessed bacterial etiology and antimicrobial susceptibility of AOM in Thailand.
Children 3 to 59 months presenting with AOM (< 72 hours of onset) who had not received prescribed antibiotics, or subjects who received prescribed antibiotics but remained symptomatic after 48–72 hours (treatment failures), were eligible. Study visits were conducted from April 2008 to August 2009. Bacteria were identified from middle ear fluid collected by tympanocentesis or spontaneous otorrhea swab sampling (< 20% of cases). S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae serotypes were determined and antimicrobial resistance was also assessed.
Of the 123 enrolled children, 112 were included in analysis and 48% of the 118 samples were positive for S. pneumoniae (23% (27/118)), H. influenzae (18% (21/118)), Moraxella catarrhalis (6% (7/118)) or Streptococcus pyogenes (3% (4/118)). The most common pneumococcal serotypes were 19F (26%) and 14 (22%). The majority of H. influenzae isolates were encapsulated (18/21), with 13 type b (Hib) representing 62% of all H. influenzae isolate or 11% of all samples (13/118), and there were only 3 non-typeable isolates. Despite high antibiotic resistance, amoxicillin/clavulanate susceptibility was high. No pneumococcal vaccine use was reported.
S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae, both frequently antibiotic resistant, were leading causes of bacterial AOM and there was an unexpectedly high burden of Hib in this population unvaccinated by any Hib conjugate vaccine. Conjugate vaccines effective against pneumococcus and H. influenzae could potentially reduce the burden of AOM in this population.
PMCID: PMC4075543  PMID: 24947736
Acute otitis media; Hib; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Haemophilus influenzae and antibiotic resistance
8.  Predictors for an unsuccessful INtubation-SURfactant-Extubation procedure: a cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:155.
The INtubation-SURfactant-Extubation (INSURE) is a procedure that is increasingly being used to treat the respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants. The objective of this study was to identify predictors for an unsuccessful INSURE procedure.
The neonates included were less than 32 weeks’ gestation, treated with surfactant in the neonatal intensive care unit, and born 1998–2010. INSURE was defined as surfactant administration during intubation for less than 2 hours without the need for mechanical ventilation. INSURE success was defined as no re-intubation within 72 hours after INSURE, and INSURE failure was defined as re-intubation within 72 hours after INSURE. An unsuccessful INSURE procedure was either INSURE failure or mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours immediately after surfactant administration. All predictors were defined a priori and were present before surfactant administration. Multivariate logistic regression was performed.
In total, 322 neonates were included: 31% (n = 100) had INSURE success, 10% (n = 33) had INSURE failure, 49% (n = 158) needed mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours, and the remaining 10% (n = 31) needed mechanical ventilation for less than 24 hours. Predictors for INSURE failure were low gestational age and hemoglobin below 8.5 mmol/l. Predictors for mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours were low gestational age, Apgar at 5 minutes below 7, oxygen need above 50%, CO2 pressure above 7 kPa (~53 mmHg), pH below 7.3, lactate above 2.5 mmol/l, need for inotropes, and surfactant administration shortly after birth, whereas preeclampsia reduced the risk.
We identified specific predictors associated with an unsuccessful INSURE procedure. Keeping high-risk neonates with one or several predictors intubated and treated with mechanical ventilation after surfactant may prevent a re-intubation procedure.
PMCID: PMC4072617  PMID: 24947477
Respiratory distress syndrome; Pulmonary surfactants; Premature neonates; Mechanical ventilation; Continuous positive airway pressure
9.  Characterizing severe obesity in children and youth referred for weight management 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:154.
Severe obesity (SO) in pediatrics has become increasing prevalent in recent decades.
The objective of our study was to examine differences in demographic, anthropometric, cardiometabolic, and lifestyle variables in children and youth with SO versus their less overweight/obese (OW/OB) peers.
A retrospective medical record review of 6-19 year old participants enrolled in an outpatient pediatric weight management clinic was conducted. SO (body mass index [BMI] ≥99th percentile) and OW/OB (BMI ≥85th and <99th percentile) groups were created according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions. Demographic, anthropometric, cardiometabolic and lifestyle data reported at baseline (pre-intervention) were retrieved.
Of the 345 participants, most were girls (56.2%), Caucasian (78.7%), and had family incomes > $50,000/year (65.7%). The SO group (n = 161) had lower HDL-cholesterol and higher liver enzymes, insulin resistance and blood pressure than the OW/OB group (n = 184; all p < 0.01). They also reported higher total energy intakes, fewer steps/day, less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and more leisure time screen time (all p < 0.02) than their leaner peers. Compared to the OW/OB group, a higher proportion of individuals in the SO group possessed cardiometabolic risk factors, including high triglycerides (45.8% vs 58.5%), alanine aminotransferase (55.4% vs 81.4%), insulin resistance (55.6% vs 82.1%), systolic blood pressure (11.5% vs 27.3%), diastolic blood pressure (17.8% vs 30.0%), and low HDL-cholesterol (44.6% vs 64.6%; all p < 0.02). Aside from the ~75% of participants (groups combined) who met the daily recommended intakes of grain and meat products, <50% of boys and girls met any of the remaining nutrition and physical activity-related recommendations. Compared to the OW/OB group, greater proportions of children and youth in the SO group failed to meet moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (48.4% vs 31.9%) and leisure-time-screen-time recommendations (43.4% vs 28.3%; both p < 0.05).
Children and youth with SO have a worse cardiometabolic profile and less favorable lifestyle habits than their OW/OB peers. These differences emphasize the heightened obesity-related health risks associated with SO in the pediatric years.
PMCID: PMC4074846  PMID: 24947311
Severe obesity; Pediatric; Cardiometabolic risk; Nutrition; Physical activity; Canada
10.  A randomised, double-blind study of polyethylene glycol 4000 and lactulose in the treatment of constipation in children 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:153.
Chronic constipation is frequent in children. The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy and safety of PEG 4000 and lactulose for the treatment of chronic constipation in young children.
This randomised, double-blind study enrolled 88 young children aged 12 to 36 months, who were randomly assigned to receive lactulose (3.3 g per day) or PEG 4000 (8 g per day) for four weeks. The primary efficacy variable was stool frequency during the fourth week of treatment. Secondary outcomes were the number and frequency of subjective symptoms associated with defecation at each visit.
Stool frequency was comparable in the two groups at baseline (lactulose: 0.7 ± 0.5; PEG 4000: 0.5 ± 0.55). Mean stool frequency increased from 0.70 ± 0.50 stools/day at baseline to 0.80 ± 0.41 at Week 4 in the lactulose group and from 0.50 ± 0.55 to 1.10 ± 0.55 stools/day in the PEG 4000 group. A significant difference was observed in the adjusted mean change from baseline, which was 0.15 stools/day in the lactulose group and 0.51 stools/day in the PEG 4000 group, with a least-squares mean difference of 0.36 stools/day [95% CI: 0.16 to 0.56]. With respect to secondary outcome variables, stool consistency and ease of stool passage improved more in the PEG 4000 group (p = 0.001). The incidence of adverse events was similar in both groups, the majority of which were mild.
PEG 4000 has superior efficacy to lactulose for the treatment of chronic constipation in young children and is well tolerated.
Trial registration
US National Institute of Health Clinical Trials database; study NCT00255372 first registered 17th November 2005.
PMCID: PMC4075982  PMID: 24943105
Constipation; Macrogol; Lactulose; Children; Stool frequency
11.  Reduced crying in term infants fed high beta-palmitate formula: a double-blind randomized clinical trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:152.
Beta-palmitate (sn-2 palmitate) mimics human milk fat, enabling easier digestion.
Therefore, we hypothesized that infants consuming high beta-palmitate formula would have more frequent, softer stools and reduced crying compared to infants consuming low beta-palmitate formula.
Formula-fed infants were randomly assigned to receive either (1) formula with high beta-palmitate (HBP, n = 21) or (2) regular formula with a standard vegetable oil mix (LBP, n = 21). A matched group of breastfed infants served as a reference (BF, n = 21). Crying and stool characteristics data were recorded by the parents for 3 days before the 6- and 12-week visits.
We found no significant differences in the stool frequency or consistency between the two formula groups. The percentage of crying infants in the LBP group was significantly higher than that in the HBP and BF groups during the evening at 6 weeks (88.2% vs. 56.3% and 55.6%, p < 0.05) and during the afternoon at 12 weeks (91.7% vs. 50.0% and 40%, p < 0.05). The infants fed HBP had significantly shorter crying durations when compared with infants fed LBP formula (14.90 ± 3.85 vs.63.96 ± 21.76 min/day, respectively; p = 0.047).
Our study indicates that consumption of a high beta-palmitate formula affects infant crying patterns during the first weeks of life. Comparable to breastfeeding, it reduced crying duration and frequency, primarily during the afternoon and evening hours, thereby improving the well-being of formula-fed infants and their parents.
Trial registration
Registration date March 31, 2009
PMCID: PMC4081465  PMID: 24942975
Beta-palmitate; sn-2 palmitate; Infant formula; Crying; Stool characteristics; Breastfeeding
12.  Impact of a Telenursing service on satisfaction and health outcomes of children with inflammatory rheumatic diseases and their families: a crossover randomized trial study protocol 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:151.
Pediatric rheumatic diseases have a significant impact on children’s quality of life and family functioning. Disease control and management of the symptoms are important to minimize disability and pain. Specialist clinical nurses play a key role in supporting medical teams, recognizing poor disease control and the need for treatment changes, providing a resource to patients on treatment options and access to additional support and advice, and identifying best practices to achieve optimal outcomes for patients and their families. This highlights the importance of investigating follow-up telenursing (TN) consultations with experienced, specialist clinical nurses in rheumatology to provide this support to children and their families.
This randomized crossover, experimental longitudinal study will compare the effects of standard care against a novel telenursing consultation on children’s and family outcomes. It will examine children below 16 years old, recently diagnosed with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, who attend the pediatric rheumatology outpatient clinic of a tertiary referral hospital in western Switzerland, and one of their parents. The telenursing consultation, at least once a month, by a qualified, experienced, specialist nurse in pediatric rheumatology will consist of providing affective support, health information, and aid to decision-making. Cox’s Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior serves as the theoretical framework for this study. The primary outcome measure is satisfaction and this will be assessed using mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative data). Secondary outcome measures include disease activity, quality of life, adherence to treatment, use of the telenursing service, and cost. We plan to enroll 56 children.
The telenursing consultation is designed to support parents and children/adolescents during the course of the disease with regular follow-up. This project is novel because it is based on a theoretical standardized intervention, yet it allows for individualized care. We expect this trial to confirm the importance of support by a clinical specialist nurse in improving outcomes for children and adolescents with inflammatory rheumatisms.
Trial registration identifier: NCT01511341 (December 1st, 2012).
PMCID: PMC4067521  PMID: 24939642
Telenursing; Hotlines; Nursing; Child; Health outcomes; Rheumatic diseases
13.  A national survey of admission practices for late preterm infants in England 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:150.
Infants born at 34+0 to 36+6 weeks gestation are defined as ‘late preterm’ infants. It is not clear whether these babies can be managed on the postnatal ward (PNW) or routinely need to be admitted to the neonatal unit after birth.
To conduct a national survey of admission practice for late preterm and low birth weight infants directly to the PNW after birth in England.
All neonatal units were identified from the Standardised Electronic Neonatal Database (SEND). Individual units were contacted and data collected on their admission practice.
All 180 neonatal units in England responded. 49, 84 and 47 Units were Special Care Units (SCUs), Local Neonatal Units (LNUs) and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) respectively. 161 units (89%) had written guidelines in relation to direct PNW admission for late preterm infants.
The mean gestational age of infants admitted directly to the PNW was significantly lower in LNUs compared to SCUs and NICUs compared to LNUs. Mean birth weight limit for direct PNW admission was significantly lower in NICUs compared to SCUs.
72 units had PNW nursery nurses. There was no significant difference in gestational age or birth weight limit for direct PNW admission in the presence of PNW nursery nurses.
Admission practices of late preterm infants directly to the PNW varies according to designation of neonatal unit in England. Further studies are needed to establish the factors influencing these differences.
PMCID: PMC4067689  PMID: 24939510
Late preterm infant; Low birth weight; Postnatal ward admission; Nursery nurse; Guideline
14.  A prospective observational study to assess the diagnostic accuracy of clinical decision rules for children presenting to emergency departments after head injuries (protocol): the Australasian Paediatric Head Injury Rules Study (APHIRST) 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:148.
Head injuries in children are responsible for a large number of emergency department visits. Failure to identify a clinically significant intracranial injury in a timely fashion may result in long term neurodisability and death. Whilst cranial computed tomography (CT) provides rapid and definitive identification of intracranial injuries, it is resource intensive and associated with radiation induced cancer. Evidence based head injury clinical decision rules have been derived to aid physicians in identifying patients at risk of having a clinically significant intracranial injury. Three rules have been identified as being of high quality and accuracy: the Canadian Assessment of Tomography for Childhood Head Injury (CATCH) from Canada, the Children’s Head Injury Algorithm for the Prediction of Important Clinical Events (CHALICE) from the UK, and the prediction rule for the identification of children at very low risk of clinically important traumatic brain injury developed by the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) from the USA. This study aims to prospectively validate and compare the performance accuracy of these three clinical decision rules when applied outside the derivation setting.
This study is a prospective observational study of children aged 0 to less than 18 years presenting to 10 emergency departments within the Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) research network in Australia and New Zealand after head injuries of any severity. Predictor variables identified in CATCH, CHALICE and PECARN clinical decision rules will be collected. Patients will be managed as per the treating clinicians at the participating hospitals. All patients not undergoing cranial CT will receive a follow up call 14 to 90 days after the injury. Outcome data collected will include results of cranial CTs (if performed) and details of admission, intubation, neurosurgery and death. The performance accuracy of each of the rules will be assessed using rule specific outcomes and inclusion and exclusion criteria.
This study will allow the simultaneous comparative application and validation of three major paediatric head injury clinical decision rules outside their derivation setting.
Trial registration
The study is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR)- ACTRN12614000463673 (registered 2 May 2014).
PMCID: PMC4074143  PMID: 24927811
Head injury; Clinical decision rule; Computed tomography; Validation
15.  Field assessment of balance in 10 to 14 year old children, reproducibility and validity of the Nintendo Wii board 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:144.
Because body proportions in childhood are different to those in adulthood, children have a relatively higher centre of mass location. This biomechanical difference and the fact that children’s movements have not yet fully matured result in different sway performances in children and adults. When assessing static balance, it is essential to use objective, sensitive tools, and these types of measurement have previously been performed in laboratory settings. However, the emergence of technologies like the Nintendo Wii Board (NWB) might allow balance assessment in field settings. As the NWB has only been validated and tested for reproducibility in adults, the purpose of this study was to examine reproducibility and validity of the NWB in a field setting, in a population of children.
Fifty-four 10–14 year-olds from the CHAMPS-Study DK performed four different balance tests: bilateral stance with eyes open (1), unilateral stance on dominant (2) and non-dominant leg (3) with eyes open, and bilateral stance with eyes closed (4). Three rounds of the four tests were completed with the NWB and with a force platform (AMTI). To assess reproducibility, an intra-day test-retest design was applied with a two-hour break between sessions.
Bland-Altman plots supplemented by Minimum Detectable Change (MDC) and concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) demonstrated satisfactory reproducibility for the NWB and the AMTI (MDC: 26.3-28.2%, CCC: 0.76-0.86) using Centre Of Pressure path Length as measurement parameter. Bland-Altman plots demonstrated satisfactory concurrent validity between the NWB and the AMTI, supplemented by satisfactory CCC in all tests (CCC: 0.74-0.87). The ranges of the limits of agreement in the validity study were comparable to the limits of agreement of the reproducibility study.
Both NWB and AMTI have satisfactory reproducibility for testing static balance in a population of children. Concurrent validity of NWB compared with AMTI was satisfactory. Furthermore, the results from the concurrent validity study were comparable to the reproducibility results of the NWB and the AMTI. Thus, NWB has the potential to replace the AMTI in field settings in studies including children. Future studies are needed to examine intra-subject variability and to test the predictive validity of NWB.
PMCID: PMC4057805  PMID: 24913461
Sway; Children; Nintendo Wii; Reproducibility of results; Validity
16.  Qualitative observation instrument to measure the quality of parent-child interactions in young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:145.
In young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), parents have complete responsibility for the diabetes-management. In toddlers and (pre)schoolers, the tasks needed to achieve optimal blood glucose control may interfere with normal developmental processes and could negatively affect the quality of parent–child interaction. Several observational instruments are available to measure the quality of the parent–child interaction. However, no observational instrument for diabetes-specific situations is available. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop a qualitative observation instrument, to be able to assess parent–child interaction during diabetes-specific situations.
First, in a pilot study (n = 15), the observation instrument was developed in four steps: (a) defining relevant diabetes-specific situations; (b) videotaping these situations; (c) describing all behaviors in a qualitative observation instrument; (d) evaluating usability and reliability. Next, we examined preliminary validity (total n = 77) by testing hypotheses about correlations between the observation instrument for diabetes-specific situations, a generic observation instrument and a behavioral questionnaire.
The observation instrument to assess parent–child interaction during diabetes-specific situations, which consists of ten domains: “emotional involvement”, “limit setting”, “respect for autonomy”, “quality of instruction”, “negative behavior”, “avoidance”, “cooperative behavior”, “child’s response to injection”, “emphasis on diabetes”, and “mealtime structure”, was developed for use during a mealtime situation (including glucose monitoring and insulin administration).
The present study showed encouraging indications for the usability and inter-rater reliability (weighted kappa was 0.73) of the qualitative observation instrument. Furthermore, promising indications for the preliminary validity of the observation instrument for diabetes-specific situations were found (r ranged between |.24| and |.45| for significant correlations and between |.10| and |.23| for non-significant trends). This observation instrument could be used in future research to (a) test whether parent–child interactions are associated with outcomes (like HbA1c levels and psychosocial functioning), and (b) evaluate interventions, aimed at optimizing the quality of parent–child interactions in families with a young child with T1DM.
PMCID: PMC4086281  PMID: 24915962
Type 1 diabetes mellitus; Parent–child interaction; Behavior; Children; Parents; Mealtime; Rating scale
17.  Clinical predictors of radiographic abnormalities among infants with bronchiolitis in a paediatric emergency department 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:143.
Acute viral respiratory exacerbation is one of the most common conditions encountered in a paediatric emergency department (PED) during winter months. We aimed at defining clinical predictors of chest radiography prescription and radiographic abnormalities, among infants with bronchiolitis in a paediatric emergency department.
We conducted a prospective cohort study of children less than 2 years of age with clinical bronchiolitis, who presented for evaluation at the paediatric emergency department of an urban general hospital in France. Detailed information regarding historical features, examination findings, and management were collected. Clinical predictors of interest were explored in multivariate logistic regression models.
Among 410 chest radiographs blindly interpreted by two experts, 40 (9.7%) were considered as abnormal. Clinical predictors of chest radiography achievement were age (under three months), feeding difficulties, fever over 38°C, hypoxia under than 95% of oxygen saturation, respiratory distress, crackles, and bronchitis rales. Clinical predictors of radiographic abnormalities were fever and close to significance hypoxia and conjunctivitis.
Our study provides arguments for reducing chest radiographs in infants with bronchiolitis. For infants with clinical factors such as age less than three months, feeding difficulties, respiratory distress without hypoxia, isolated crackles or bronchitis rales, careful clinical follow-up should be provided instead of chest radiography.
PMCID: PMC4053285  PMID: 24906343
Bronchiolitis; Chest radiography; Radiographic pneumonia; Clinical decision rule
18.  Repeatability of self-report measures of physical activity, sedentary and travel behaviour in Hong Kong adolescents for the iHealt(H) and IPEN – Adolescent studies 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:142.
Physical activity and sedentary behaviour are important contributors to adolescents’ health. These behaviours may be affected by the school and neighbourhood built environments. However, current evidence on such effects is mainly limited to Western countries. The International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN)–Adolescent study aims to examine associations of the built environment with adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviour across five continents.
We report on the repeatability of measures of in-school and out-of school physical activity, plus measures of out-of-school sedentary and travel behaviours adopted by the IPEN – Adolescent study and adapted for Chinese-speaking Hong Kong adolescents participating in the international Healthy environments and active living in teenagers–(Hong Kong) [iHealt(H)] study, which is part of IPEN-Adolescent.
Items gauging in-school physical activity and out-of-school physical activity, and out-of-school sedentary and travel behaviours developed for the IPEN – Adolescent study were translated from English into Chinese, adapted, and pilot tested. Sixty-eight Chinese-speaking 12–17 year old secondary school students (36 boys; 32 girls) residing in areas of Hong Kong differing in transport-related walkability were recruited. They self-completed the survey items twice, 8–16 days apart. Test-retest reliability was assessed for the whole sample and by gender using one-way random effects intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Test-retest reliability of items with restricted variability was assessed using percentage agreement.
Overall test-retest reliability of items and scales was moderate to excellent (ICC = 0.47–0.92). Items with restricted variability in responses had a high percentage agreement (92%-100%). Test-retest reliability was similar in girls and boys, with the exception of daily hours of homework (reliability higher in girls) and number of school-based sports teams or after-school physical activity classes (reliability higher in boys).
The translated and adapted self-report measures of physical activity, sedentary and travel behaviours used in the iHealt(H) study are sufficiently reliable. Levels of reliability are comparable or slightly higher than those observed for the original measures.
PMCID: PMC4060092  PMID: 24903156
Adolescents; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Self-reports; Repeatability; Multi-country study; China
19.  Efficacy of baby-CIMT: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial on infants below age 12 months, with clinical signs of unilateral CP 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:141.
Infants with unilateral brain lesions are at high risk of developing unilateral cerebral palsy (CP). Given the great plasticity of the young brain, possible interventions for infants at risk of unilateral CP deserve exploration. Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) is known to be effective for older children with unilateral CP but is not systematically used for infants. The development of CIMT for infants (baby-CIMT) is described here, as is the methodology of an RCT comparing the effects on manual ability development of baby-CIMT versus baby-massage. The main hypothesis is that infants receiving baby-CIMT will develop manual ability in the involved hand faster than will infants receiving baby-massage in the first year of life.
Method and design
The study will be a randomised, controlled, prospective parallel-group trial. Invited infants will be to be randomised to either the baby-CIMT or the baby-massage group if they: 1) are at risk of developing unilateral CP due to a known neonatal event affecting the brain or 2) have been referred to Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital due to asymmetric hand function. The inclusion criteria are age 3–8 months and established asymmetric hand use. Infants in both groups will receive two 6-weeks training periods separated by a 6-week pause, for 12 weeks in total of treatment. The primary outcome measure will be the new Hand Assessment for Infants (HAI) for evaluating manual ability. In addition, the Parenting Sense of Competence scale and Alberta Infant Motor Scale will be used. Clinical neuroimaging will be utilized to characterise the brain lesion type. To compare outcomes between treatment groups generalised linear models will be used.
The model of early intensive intervention for hand function, baby-CIMT evaluated by the Hand Assessment for Infants (HAI) will have the potential to significantly increase our understanding of how early intervention of upper limb function in infants at risk of developing unilateral CP can be performed and measured.
Trial registration
SFO-V4072/2012, 05/22/2013
PMCID: PMC4062504  PMID: 24903062
Constraint-induced movement therapy; Cerebral Palsy; Upper limb; Hand function; Early intervention
20.  Gut-directed hypnotherapy in children with irritable bowel syndrome or functional abdominal pain (syndrome): a randomized controlled trial on self exercises at home using CD versus individual therapy by qualified therapists 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:140.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional abdominal pain (syndrome) (FAP(S)) are common pediatric disorders, characterized by chronic or recurrent abdominal pain. Treatment is challenging, especially in children with persisting symptoms. Gut-directed hypnotherapy (HT) performed by a therapist has been shown to be effective in these children, but is still unavailable to many children due to costs, a lack of qualified child-hypnotherapists and because it requires a significant investment of time by child and parent(s). Home-based hypnotherapy by means of exercises on CD has been shown effective as well, and has potential benefits, such as lower costs and less time investment. The aim of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) is to compare cost-effectiveness of individual HT performed by a qualified therapist with HT by means of CD recorded self-exercises at home in children with IBS or FAP(S).
260 children, aged 8-18 years with IBS or FAP(S) according to Rome III criteria are included in this currently conducted RCT with a follow-up period of one year. Children are randomized to either 6 sessions of individual HT given by a qualified therapist over a 3-month period or HT through self-exercises at home with CD for 3 months.
The primary outcome is the proportion of patients in which treatment is successful at the end of treatment and after one year follow-up. Treatment success is defined as at least 50% reduction in both abdominal pain frequency and intensity scores. Secondary outcomes include adequate relief, cost-effectiveness and effects of both therapies on depression and anxiety scores, somatization scores, QoL, pain beliefs and coping strategies.
If the effectiveness of home-based HT with CD is comparable to, or only slightly lower, than HT by a therapist, this treatment may become an attractive form of therapy in children with IBS or FAP(S), because of its low costs and direct availability.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register number NTR2725 (date of registration: 1 February 2011)
PMCID: PMC4060754  PMID: 24894077
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Functional abdominal pain (FAP); Functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS); Hypnotherapy; Children; Pediatrics; Hypnosis; Randomized controlled trial (RCT); Functional gastrointestinal disorders
21.  A systematic review of the use and effectiveness of social media in child health 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:138.
Social media use is highly prevalent among children, youth, and their caregivers, and its use in healthcare is being explored. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review to determine: 1) for what purposes social media is being used in child health and its effectiveness; and 2) the attributes of social media tools that may explain how they are or are not effective.
We searched Medline, CENTRAL, ERIC, PubMed, CINAHL, Academic Search Complete, Alt Health Watch, Health Source, Communication and Mass Media Complete, Web of Knowledge, and Proquest Dissertation and Theses Database from 2000–2013. We included primary research that evaluated the use of a social media tool, and targeted children, youth, or their families or caregivers. Quality assessment was conducted on all included analytic studies using tools specific to different quantitative designs.
We identified 25 studies relevant to child health. The majority targeted adolescents (64%), evaluated social media for health promotion (52%), and used discussion forums (68%). Most often, social media was included as a component of a complex intervention (64%). Due to heterogeneity in conditions, tools, and outcomes, results were not pooled across studies. Attributes of social media perceived to be effective included its use as a distraction in younger children, and its ability to facilitate communication between peers among adolescents. While most authors presented positive conclusions about the social media tool being studied (80%), there is little high quality evidence of improved outcomes to support this claim.
This comprehensive review demonstrates that social media is being used for a variety of conditions and purposes in child health. The findings provide a foundation from which clinicians and researchers can build in the future by identifying tools that have been developed, describing how they have been used, and isolating components that have been effective.
PMCID: PMC4047773  PMID: 24886048
Social media; Pediatrics; Systematic review
22.  Calprotectin in Cystic Fibrosis 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:133.
There is increasing evidence that intestinal inflammation plays a major role in gastrointestinal symptoms in cystic fibrosis (CF). Fecal calprotectin is a marker that is elevated in several gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases, but little is known about its value in CF. We aimed to look for associations of elevated fecal calprotectin among CF patients and whether its level correlates with the clinical manifestations of CF.
A single stool specimen was collected from 62 patients with CF. Fecal calprotectin was measured using the commercially available ELISA kits (PhiCal™ test). Clinical data were collected from patients’ records and CF registry.
There were no significant differences between CF patients with normal and abnormal fecal calprotectin levels. However, patients who were not receiving inhaled antibiotics had higher fecal calprotectin levels than those who were.
Elevated fecal calprotectin may not accurately predict intestinal inflammation in CF. However, the fact that it was elevated in both pancreatic sufficient and insufficient groups supports the concept of “cystic fibrosis enteropathy” regardless of the pancreatic status.
PMCID: PMC4048584  PMID: 24885444
23.  Children’s perception on obesity and quality of life: a Mexican survey 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:131.
Child obesity has become a major health problem worldwide. In order to design successful intervention strategies, it is necessary to understand how children perceive obesity and its consequences.
With the aim to evaluate scholar children perception of obesity as a significant factor on the quality of life, we developed and validated the “Obesity impact on the quality of life perception-questionnaire” (ObI-Q). We surveyed 1335 healthy children aged 6–12 years, randomly selected from elementary schools in Mexico City. The ObI-Q comprises eight multiple-choice items that explore aspects related to the quality of life during adult life; such as health, life span, emotional status, lifestyle, social recognition and economic status. In order to identify perceptional modifier factors, results were analyzed through multivariable logistic regression. Variables included gender, age, and child nutritional status, as well as the child’s perception of parental nutritional status.
ObI-Q results showed that most children (64.71%) considered obesity as a negative condition that influences health and social performance. This perception was inversely related to age (OR = 0.64, p = 0.003), as well as to the perception of their mother nutritional status (OR = 0.47, p = 0.01).
This study provides an overview of children’s perception on obesity and its consequences. Because the high proportion of schoolchildren who do not view obesity as an adverse consequence to the quality of life, then the results of this study could be used as part of strategies for the prevention of overweight and obesity.
PMCID: PMC4048619  PMID: 24885226
24.  Too many crying babies: a systematic review of pain management practices during immunizations on YouTube 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:134.
Early childhood immunizations, although vital for preventative health, are painful and too often lead to fear of needles. Effective pain management strategies during infant immunizations include breastfeeding, sweet solutions, and upright front-to-front holding. However, it is unknown how often these strategies are used in clinical practice. We aimed to review the content of YouTube videos showing infants being immunized to ascertain parents’ and health care professionals’ use of pain management strategies, as well as to assess infants’ pain and distress.
A systematic review of YouTube videos showing intramuscular injections in infants less than 12 months was completed using the search terms "baby injection" and "baby vaccine" to assess (1) the use of pain management strategies and (2) infant pain and distress. Pain was assessed by crying duration and pain scores using the FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability) tool.
A total of 142 videos were included and coded by two trained individual viewers. Most infants received one injection (range of one to six). Almost all (94%) infants cried before or during the injections for a median of 33 seconds (IQR = 39), up to 146 seconds. FLACC scores during the immunizations were high, with a median of 10 (IQR = 3). No videos showed breastfeeding or the use of sucrose/sweet solutions during the injection(s), and only four (3%) videos showed the infants being held in a front-to-front position during the injections. Distraction using talking or singing was the most commonly used (66%) pain management strategy.
YouTube videos of infants being immunized showed that infants were highly distressed during the procedures. There was no use of breastfeeding or sweet solutions and limited use of upright or front-to-front holding during the injections. This systematic review will be used as a baseline to evaluate the impact of future knowledge translation interventions using YouTube to improve pain management practices for infant immunizations.
PMCID: PMC4049389  PMID: 24885559
YouTube; Infant; Immunization; Pain
25.  Unintentional injury and its prevention in infant: knowledge and self-reported practices of main caregivers 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:132.
Unintentional injuries are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Prevention of unintentional injuries has been shown to be effective with education. Understanding the level of knowledge and practices of caregivers in infant safety would be useful to identify gaps for improvement.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in an urban government health clinic in Malaysia among main caregivers of infants aged 11 to 15 months. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semi-structured self-designed questionnaire. Responses to the items were categorised by the percentage of correct answers: poor (<50%), moderate (50% – 70%) and good (>70%).
A total of 403 caregivers participated in the study. Of the 21 items in the questionnaire on knowledge, 19 had good-to-moderate responses and two had poor responses. The two items on knowledge with poor responses were on the use of infant walkers (26.8%) and allowing infants on motorcycles as pillion riders (27.3%). Self-reported practice of infant safety was poor. None of the participants followed all 19 safety practices measured. Eight (42.1%) items on self-reported practices had poor responses. The worst three of these were on the use of baby cots (16.4%), avoiding the use of infant walkers (23.8%) and putting infants to sleep in the supine position (25.6%). Better knowledge was associated with self-reported safety practices in infants (p < 0.05). However, knowledge did not correspond to correct practice, particularly on the use of baby cots, infant walkers and sarong cradles.
Main caregivers’ knowledge on infant safety was good but self-reported practice was poor. Further research in the future is required to identify interventions that target these potentially harmful practices.
PMCID: PMC4049802  PMID: 24885332
Unintentional injury prevention; Infant; Knowledge; Practice

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