Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has had a program that focused on nutrition and exercise for kids who are at risk for obesity or already obese. Now it is teaming up with experts at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas to use its experts as well as expand the obesity program to not just focus on nutrition and exercise but also diseases that often are seen in people who are obese.
Children participating in the program will have access to experts in heart, diabetes and hormones, kidneys, liver and mental health. Doctors will be watching for Type 2 diabetes, which more teens are getting; heart and kidney disease, asthma, sleep apnea and bone and joint problems.
One of the experts that will be involved in the program is Dell Medical School’s Dr. Steven Abrams, a nationally recognized expert in childhood nutrition who helped write new guidelines about fruit juice and children. He will be leading the redesign of the program along with the Department of Population Health at the school.
“This comprehensive program is designed to address multiple, complex medical issues that often go hand-in-hand with obesity,” Abrams said in a press release. “We look forward to addressing these issues and helping children and their families live healthier lives.”
Your kid’s grades might predict drug use, other risky behaviors
Good grades really do matter. This month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey to figure out if there was a link between a student’s grades and risky behavior. The study found that in 30 health behaviors, the students with poor grades were more likely to report higher levels of risky behavior and the opposite was true as well.
Here are some key observations:
- Students who reported receiving mostly Ds and Fs, were nine times more likely than students who received mostly As to report having ever injected any illegal drugs.
- Students with mostly Ds and Fs, were five times more likely than students with mostly As to report that they did not go to school at least one day in the past month because of safety concerns.
- Students with mostly Ds and Fs were more than four times more likely than students with mostly As to report that they had four or more sexual partners.
- Students with mostly As were twice as likely as students with mostly Ds and Fs to report eating breakfast every day in the past week.
- Students with mostly As were almost one and a half times more likely than students with mostly Ds and Fs to report being physically active at least 60 minutes per day on five or more days in the past week.
The CDC recommends that schools districts and states fund programs that support the social emotional learning, not just academic learning.
“As our nation’s children embark on another school year, it’s important to remember that health and academic performance are not mutually exclusive,” said CDC Director Dr.B renda Fitzgerald in a press release. “When it comes to youth, health and education professionals should work in concert with communities and parents to help them create the best possible environment for the health, well-being and future success of the next generation.”
The thing that strikes me: Kids who eat breakfast, kids who are physically active, kids who attend school, kids who make good grades: those are usually kids who have someone paying attention to what they are doing. They are being set up for success.
Talk to kids about piercings and tattoos
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this advice to its pediatricians: Warn teens about the dangers of tattoos, piercings and scarification (that’s creating scars in a design).
A report out Monday does acknowledge that most of the time these things can be done safely and the stigma that used to come with them is fading. Still the academy wants its doctors to make sure that teens are thinking through the long-term outcomes when it comes to these permanent modifications. In Texas, you have to be 18 or have a parent’s consent to get a tattoo or piercing.
Dr. Cora C. Breuner, who authored the report and is the chair of the AAP Committee on Adolescence, offers these talking points to pediatricians:
Tattoos and henna:
Remind teens and their families that tattoos are permanent and removal is difficult, expensive and only partially effective.
Those with a history of keloid formation should avoid body modifications that puncture the skin.
Assess the sanitary and hygiene practices of the tattoo parlors and tattoo artists.
Seek medical care if there are signs and symptoms of infection. Lesions that appear to grow or change within a tattoo require evaluation for neoplasms.
There is a risk of hemolysis with red henna temporary tattoos for those with a positive glucose-6-dehydrogenase deficiency. Black henna temporary tattoos should be avoided because of the significant rate of sensitization.
Patients should be counseled about the potential effects on employment and education if tattoos are visible.
Piercings and stretching:
Rinsing with nonprescription oral cleansers or topical application of cleansers can help prevent infection after oral piercing.
Antibiotic agents with good coverage against Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus species (e.g., fluoroquinolones) are advised when treating piercing-associated infections of the auricular (ear) cartilage.
At piercing establishments, the piercer should be observed putting on new disposable gloves and removing new equipment from a sterile container.
Teens contemplating tongue piercing should know of the high incidence of tooth chipping that can occur.
Remind patients who have piercings to remove all jewelry during contact sports to avoid endangering the wearer and other players. Jewelry that interferes with mouthguards or protective equipment also should be removed before play. Nipple jewelry should be removed before breastfeeding.
Counsel teens about potential implications on employment and education if piercings are visible.
Inform teens with a personal or family history of keloids of the risk associated with scarification (the practice of intentionally irritating the skin to cause a permanent pattern of scar tissue) and other body modification processes.
Infections resulting from scarification may be treated like other skin or soft tissue infections.