OBJECTIVES: Understanding patterns of parental tobacco use and their association with child exposure can help us target interventions more appropriately. We aimed to examine the association between parental smoking practices and cotinine levels of hospitalized children. METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of data collected from parents of hospitalized children, recruited for a cessation intervention randomized controlled trial. Smoking parents were identified by using a medical record screening question. Parent-reported demographics and smoking habits were compared to child urine cotinine by using geometric means and log-transformed cotinine levels in multivariable linear regression analyses. RESULTS: A total of 213 patients had complete baseline parent-interview and urine cotinine data. The median age was 4 (interquartile range: 1–9); 57% were boys; 56% were white, 12% were Black, and 23% were multiracial; 36% identified as Hispanic. Most families (54%) had 1 smoker in the home; 36% had 2, and 9% had ≥3. Many (77%) reported having a ban on smoking in the home, and 86% reported smoking only outside. The geometric mean cotinine level of the cohort was 0.98 ng/mL. Higher cotinine levels were associated with more smokers in the home (ratio of 2.99) and smoking inside the house (ratio of 4.11). CONCLUSIONS: Having more smokers in the home and parents who smoke inside are associated with increased smoke exposure; however, even children whose families who smoke only outside the home have significant levels of cotinine, a marker for toxin exposure.
OBJECTIVES: Screening for social determinants of health in the inpatient setting is uncommon. However, social risk factors documented in billing and electronic medical record data are associated with increased pediatric care use. We sought to describe (1) the epidemiology of social risks and referral acceptance and (2) association between social risks identified through routine inpatient screening and care use. METHODS: Parents of children ages 0 to 18 admitted to a general pediatric floor at an academic children’s hospital completed a psychosocial screening survey from October 2017 to June 2019. The survey covered the following domains: finances, housing, food security, medications, and benefits. Patient characteristics and care use outcomes were abstracted from the electronic medical record and compared by using Pearson’s χ2 or the Wilcoxon rank test and logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Of 374 screened families, 141 (38%) had a positive screen result, of whom 78 (55%) reported >1 need and 64 (45%) accepted a community resource. In bivariate analyses, patients with a positive screen result had higher 30-day readmission (10% vs 5%; P = .05), lower median household income ($62 321 vs $71 460; P < .01), lower parental education (P < .01), public insurance (57% vs 43%; P < .01), lived in a 1-parent household (30 vs 12%; P < .01), and had a complex chronic condition (35% vs 23%; P = .01) compared with those with a negative screen result. There was no difference in care reuse by screening status in adjusted analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Social risks are common in the pediatric inpatient setting. Children with medical complexity offer a good target for initial screening efforts.