Stories about: Pediatric Dose December 2015

Clinical Consult: Language and speech delays

empty speech bubble pediatric language delay developmental delay
(Stock Rocket/Shutterstock)

Like all developmental milestones, children learn to communicate at different rates. But delays in speech and language development are important to recognize as early as possible. A child’s early understanding and expression of language will often impact other important developmental milestones such as play skills, social interactions and behavioral regulation.

When should a parent or clinician be concerned about delayed language acquisition, and when is further evaluation by a specialist such as a developmental-behavioral pediatrician or child neurologist warranted? Notes consulted with Carol Wilkinson, MD, PhD, a fellow in Boston Children’s Division of Developmental Medicine, and David Urion, MD, FAAN, of the hospital’s Department of Neurology, for advice and tips on what to watch for. …Read More

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For what we spend, do U.S. children see the doctor or dentist enough?

calendar dentist appointment doctor appointment
(Michail Petrov/Shutterstock)

By now, most Americans know this dark and disturbing truth about our health care system: We spend more than any other industrialized country on health care, yet we have some of the worst health outcomes on a number of measures (including infant mortality, average lifespan, and death from preventable diseases).

Our current system focuses much more on treating illness than preventing it. So how does our usage, or the amount we spend on and utilize health care resources, relate to our outcomes, or how healthy we are overall? Better yet: What can we learn from comparing our country with one that has better health outcomes and a similar insurance system? …Read More

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Addressing food insecurity starts with asking the right questions

FairFoodsWhile some American families are trying to figure out what to do with all the leftover turkey and stuffing, others are worrying about having enough food to make it through the week.

The problem is widespread and cuts across urban, suburban and rural communities. More than 15 million U.S. children live in households struggling with food insecurity, a term defined by the USDA as “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”

Although food insecurity is not a new issue in the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just issued a policy statement in October recommending for the first time that pediatricians screen for it.

…Read More

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Expert’s Corner: Getting the most out of a pediatric well visit

baby newborn stethoscope well visit Susan Laster
(WeStudio/Shutterstock)

As every general pediatrician, family practitioner and nurse practitioner knows, the pediatric well visit is a rich, full 15-20 minute encounter. It is during this time that we hope to address all aspects of a child’s health and well being, with the ultimate goal of being able to “launch” that child into adulthood as physically, cognitively and emotionally healthy as possible. A few years ago, I realized I wasn’t just taking care of the child in front of me; I was also trying to care for the 25-year-old adult that child will become. No small task!

Luckily, we are not in it alone. …Read More

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