OBJECTIVES: To compare the frequency of opioid and corticosteroid prescriptions dispensed for children with pneumonia or sinusitis visits on the basis of location of care. METHODS: We evaluated 2016 South Carolina Medicaid claims data for 5 to 18 years olds with pneumonia or sinusitis. Visits were associated with 1 of 3 locations: the emergency department (ED), urgent care, or the ambulatory setting. RESULTS: Inclusion criteria were met by 31 838 children. Pneumonia visits were more often linked to an opioid prescription in the ED (34 of 542 [6.3%]) than in ambulatory settings (24 of 1590 [1.5%]; P ≤ .0001) and were more frequently linked to a steroid prescription in the ED (106 of 542 [19.6%]) than in ambulatory settings (196 of 1590 [12.3%]; P ≤ .0001). Sinusitis visits were more often linked to an opioid prescription in the ED (202 of 2705 [7.5%]) than in ambulatory settings (568 of 26 866 [2.1%]; P ≤ .0001) and were more frequently linked to a steroid prescription in the ED (510 of 2705 [18.9%]) than in ambulatory settings (1922 of 26 866 [7.2%]; P ≤ .0001). In logistic regression for children with pneumonia, the ED setting was associated with increased odds of receiving an opioid (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.69) or steroid (aOR 1.67). Similarly, patients with sinusitis were more likely to be prescribed opioids (aOR 4.02) or steroids (aOR 3.05) in the ED than in ambulatory sites. CONCLUSIONS: School-aged children received opioid and steroid prescriptions for pneumonia or sinusitis at a higher frequency in the ED versus the ambulatory setting.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the reasons adolescents are not vaccinated for specific vaccines and how these reasons have changed over time. METHODS: We analyzed the 2008–2010 National Immunization Survey of Teens examining reasons parents do not have their teens immunized. Parents whose teens were not up to date (Not-UTD) for Tdap/Td and MCV4 were asked the main reason they were not vaccinated. Parents of female teens Not-UTD for human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) were asked their intent to give HPV, and those unlikely to get HPV were asked the main reason why not. RESULTS: The most frequent reasons for not vaccinating were the same for Tdap/Td and MCV4, including “Not recommended” and “Not needed or not necessary.” For HPV, the most frequent reasons included those for the other vaccines as well as 4 others, including “Not sexually active” and “Safety concerns/Side effects.” “Safety concerns/Side effects” increased from 4.5% in 2008 to 7.7% in 2009 to 16.4% in 2010 and, in 2010, approaching the most common reason “Not Needed or Not Necessary” at 17.4% (95% CI: 15.7–19.1). Although parents report that health care professionals increasingly recommend all vaccines, including HPV, the intent to not vaccinate for HPV increased from 39.8% in 2008 to 43.9% in 2010 (OR for trend 1.08, 95% CI: 1.04–1.13). CONCLUSIONS: Despite doctors increasingly recommending adolescent vaccines, parents increasingly intend not to vaccinate female teens with HPV. The concern about safety of HPV grew with each year. Addressing specific and growing parental concerns about HPV will require different considerations than those for the other vaccines.
Pesticides are a collective term for a wide array of chemicals intended to kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents. Food, water, and treatment in the home, yard, and school are all potential sources of children’s exposure. Exposures to pesticides may be overt or subacute, and effects range from acute to chronic toxicity. In 2008, pesticides were the ninth most common substance reported to poison control centers, and approximately 45% of all reports of pesticide poisoning were for children. Organophosphate and carbamate poisoning are perhaps the most widely known acute poisoning syndromes, can be diagnosed by depressed red blood cell cholinesterase levels, and have available antidotal therapy. However, numerous other pesticides that may cause acute toxicity, such as pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides, also have specific toxic effects; recognition of these effects may help identify acute exposures. Evidence is increasingly emerging about chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure. A growing body of epidemiological evidence demonstrates associations between parental use of pesticides, particularly insecticides, with acute lymphocytic leukemia and brain tumors. Prenatal, household, and occupational exposures (maternal and paternal) appear to be the largest risks. Prospective cohort studies link early-life exposure to organophosphates and organochlorine pesticides (primarily DDT) with adverse effects on neurodevelopment and behavior. Among the findings associated with increased pesticide levels are poorer mental development by using the Bayley index and increased scores on measures assessing pervasive developmental disorder, inattention, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Related animal toxicology studies provide supportive biological plausibility for these findings. Additional data suggest that there may also be an association between parental pesticide use and adverse birth outcomes including physical birth defects, low birth weight, and fetal death, although the data are less robust than for cancer and neurodevelopmental effects. Children’s exposures to pesticides should be limited as much as possible.
This statement presents the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics on pesticides. Pesticides are a collective term for chemicals intended to kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents. Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity. Acute poisoning risks are clear, and understanding of chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure are emerging. Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems. Related animal toxicology studies provide supportive biological plausibility for these findings. Recognizing and reducing problematic exposures will require attention to current inadequacies in medical training, public health tracking, and regulatory action on pesticides. Ongoing research describing toxicologic vulnerabilities and exposure factors across the life span are needed to inform regulatory needs and appropriate interventions. Policies that promote integrated pest management, comprehensive pesticide labeling, and marketing practices that incorporate child health considerations will enhance safe use.