Stories about: Quick Note

QuickNote: Does Tylenol really make asthma symptoms worse?


New research on Tylenol and asthma may surprise you

You may have heard that acetaminophen (Tylenol) can exacerbate asthma in children, and that alternative medications should be given to children with asthma when they experience pain or fever. A new study refutes this widely-held belief, and finds no correlation between Tylenol and increased asthma symptoms in children.

The study, published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, followed 300 children 1 – 5 years old with mild persistent asthma from 18 health care institutions. The patients were randomly divided into two groups: one was told to use acetaminophen as indicated for pain or fever, and the other was told to use ibuprofen. The study was conducted over a 48-week period.

During the nearly seven week follow-up period, researchers found no statistically significant difference in asthma rates or severity between the two groups.

Read the full text in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Quick Note: Poor sleep habits in young children linked to obesity years later

kid watching tv in darkSometimes for a parent of a preschooler, it seems like bedtime cannot come soon enough, especially after a particularly challenging day. But while an early bedtime for young children may mean a break for harried parents, it can also have a positive impact on children’s health, even years later.

In a recent article published in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers Anderson, Andridge and Whitaker studied over 900 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years as part of a large national long-term study, Early Child Care and Youth Development. They found that about a quarter of the children had average bedtimes after 9pm as reported by parents, while another 25% had bedtimes before 8pm. When re-examined at around age 15 years, height and weight were measured in these same children and compared to age and gender-specific norms. The teens with late bedtimes as preschoolers were more than twice as likely to be obese compared to those with an early bedtime, even after accounting for known obesity-related factors such as birthweight and mother’s weight. The rate of obesity for the “intermediate bedtime” group (16%) was between that of the early and late bedtime groups (10% and 23% respectively). …Read More

Quick Note: Defining the connection between UTIs and antibiotic resistance

UTI_shutterstock_274849442 (2)

Urinary tract infections affect approximately 3 percent of children in the United States and account for more than 1 million visits to pediatricians’ offices every year.

Although antimicrobial prophylaxis has been proven effective in preventing recurrent UTI in children specifically with vesicoureteral reflux, there remains an increased antibiotic resistance in children treated with antibiotics.

A recent study titled “Antimicrobial Resistance and Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence” sought to further investigate the relationship of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance among children with vesicoureteral reflux. The paper, published in Pediatrics by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), shows that although resistance was more common among children on antibiotic prophylaxis, antibiotic resistance decreased the longer the children stayed on prophylaxis.

This surprising finding suggests that children who require extended prophylaxis may not be at as high a risk of resistant infection as commonly thought.

…Read More

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How much screen time is too much screen time for a preteen?

preteen video game Minecraft mediatrician Michael Rich
(Volt Collection/Shutterstock)

How much screen time is too much? That’s the essence of a question one parent sent in to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Mediatrician, Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the hospital’s Center on Media and Child Health, about the hours upon hours her preteen daughter spends on the computer playing Minecraft.

Rich notes that as screens have become ever present in society, the pediatric establishment’s view on screen time has evolved:

As technologies continue to develop and screen media become more and more prevalent in all of our lives, experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are moving away from the concept of screen time limits for children.

Before offering advice on how to talk to her daughter about her Minecraft time, Rich adds that families need to view a child’s on- and offline activities in the context of her age and developmental needs:

Remember, your daughter is at a stage in life where one of her key developmental tasks is how to prioritize activities and manage her time. Her academic and social demands are increasing and she is moving out of the nuclear family unit to a much larger universe of peers and the public. Minecraft is just one of many activities she will need to prioritize, put into perspective and ultimately regulate in terms of her time and attention. Ironically, time management and getting enough rest is essential to success within the game of Minecraft.

See the rest of Rich’s response on our sister blog Thriving.



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