High-risk behaviors have been well recognized as an important threat to the health of many adolescents, but efforts to alter these behaviors have usually been unsuccessful. This randomized trial of 817 youth and their parents in 35 low-income urban communities tested whether an educational intervention aimed at parental monitoring would have an added benefit to an adolescent risk reduction program. Two years after implementation, intervention youth had fewer risk behaviors and more protective behaviors than control youth.
Treatment of febrile infants with acute illness is one of the more common tasks of pediatricians. This study of 474 infants who came to an emergency department for acute illness found that infants who had received antipyretic medication before the visit had a higher temperature in the emergency department than those who did not receive medication at home. Although the overall group of treated infants did not experience more defervescence than those who were not treated, infants who had received medication within 1 to 5 hours prior to arrival had lower temperatures in the emergency department.
Many women of reproductive age are employed in industries involving exposure to organic solvents. This study evaluated 32 pregnant women who had occupational exposure to organic solvents and compared their children at ages 3 to 9 years with a matched control group without any prenatal exposure to solvents. After controlling for confounding factors that might affect IQ, the authors found that children who were exposed to solvents in utero had poorer information processing, vocabulary, and motor function and were more likely to have hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention problems than children without any prenatal exposure. This study shows for the first time in a systematic way that in utero exposure to organic solvents has potentially important adverse effects on children’s neurological development.
The relationship between allergen exposure, sensitization, and the development of asthma is complex. Lowe and colleagues investigated the effect of pet ownership and exposure to cat, dog, and house dust mite allergens on lung function in preschool children at age 3 years. The authors found that pet ownership, sensitization to allergens without exposure, or exposure to allergens in nonsensitized individuals had no effect on lung function. However, the combination of specific sensitization and exposure to a sensitizing allergen was associated with poorer lung function in early life. This study helps to explain the often confusing association between atopy and asthma.
This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(10):945. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.10.945