Shootings that result in injury or death may constitute only a small proportion of interpersonal events involving firearms. Hemenway and Miller conducted a telephone survey of 5801 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years in California to determine the firearm-related experiences of these youth, reported interpersonal threats involving guns, and reported gun use for self-defense. One in 15 California adolescents reported a gun threat against them, although only 0.3% reported using a gun in self-defense. Gun threats were most commonly associated witheing in an argument, being attacked by a stranger, being robbed, horseplay, and gang activity. In three fourths of the cases in which the age of the aggressor was known, it was an adolescent. Far more California adolescents are threatened with a gun than use a gun in self-defense.
Violence, substance abuse, and unsafe sexual practices are major public health problems challenging today's youth. Because these behaviors tend to
occur in conjunction, prevention may best be accomplished by addressing multiple behaviors concurrently. This randomized controlled trial in 12 Chicago area
schools tested the effect of a culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate school curriculum combined with a community intervention for high-risk behaviors
in fifth- to eighth-grade students. The combination of this school curriculum and community intervention program was most effective in lowering age-associated
increases in violence, substance abuse, and high-risk sexual behavior in boys, but neither the curriculum alone nor in combination with the community program
Vaccination is often a stressful medical procedure for healthy infants and is a common cause of childhood iatrogenic pain. The type of vaccine product
and preparation may influence the pain of the immunization. Ipp and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing 2 different vaccines in
49 healthy children aged 12 months who were receiving their first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Pain scores as assessed by parents, pediatricians, and a blinded
observer were significantly lower for the Priorix preparation than in those receiving the M-M-R II preparation.
The effect of maternal antidepressant use during pregnancy on the risk of birth defects is uncertain but concerning given the frequency of use of
these psychotropic agents. This study investigated neonatal outcomes in 987 mothers after maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy. Use was associated
with a 2-fold increase in the risk of prematurity and low birth weight, low Apgar scores, respiratory distress, and neonatal convulsions. The increased
risk did not appear to be specific for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors but was found for all classes of antidepressants.
This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(4):305. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.4.305