This statement updates the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics for the routine use of influenza vaccine and antiviral medications in the prevention and treatment of influenza in children during the 2020–2021 season.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends routine influenza immunization of all children without medical contraindications, starting at 6 months of age. Influenza vaccination is an important intervention to protect vulnerable populations and reduce the burden of respiratory illnesses during the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine available can be administered, without preference for one product or formulation over another.
Antiviral treatment of influenza with any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza antiviral medication is recommended for children with suspected or confirmed influenza who are hospitalized, have severe or progressive disease, or have underlying conditions that increase their risk of complications of influenza. Antiviral treatment may be considered for any previously healthy, symptomatic outpatient not at high risk for influenza complications in whom an influenza diagnosis is confirmed or suspected, if treatment can be initiated within 48 hours of illness onset, and for children whose siblings or household contacts either are younger than 6 months or have a high-risk condition that predisposes them to complications of influenza.
Children and adolescents should be included in exercises and drills to the extent that their involvement advances readiness to meet their unique needs in the event of a crisis and/or furthers their own preparedness or resiliency. However, there is also a need to be cautious about the potential psychological risks and other unintended consequences of directly involving children in live exercises and drills. These risks and consequences are especially a concern when children are deceived and led to believe there is an actual attack and not a drill and/or for high-intensity active shooter drills. High-intensity active shooter drills may involve the use of real weapons, gunfire or blanks, theatrical makeup to give a realistic image of blood or gunshot wounds, predatory and aggressive acting by the individual posing to be the shooter, or other means to simulate an actual attack, even when participants are aware that it is a drill. This policy statement outlines some of the considerations regarding the prevalent practice of live active shooter drills in schools, including the recommendations to eliminate children’s involvement in high-intensity drills and exercises (with the possible exception of adolescent volunteers), prohibit deception in drills and exercises, and ensure appropriate accommodations during drills and exercises based on children’s unique vulnerabilities.
Pediatric care providers, pediatricians, pediatric subspecialty physicians, and other health care providers should be able to recognize children with abnormal head shapes that occur as a result of both synostotic and deformational processes. The purpose of this clinical report is to review the characteristic head shape changes, as well as secondary craniofacial characteristics, that occur in the setting of the various primary craniosynostoses and deformations. As an introduction, the physiology and genetics of skull growth as well as the pathophysiology underlying craniosynostosis are reviewed. This is followed by a description of each type of primary craniosynostosis (metopic, unicoronal, bicoronal, sagittal, lambdoid, and frontosphenoidal) and their resultant head shape changes, with an emphasis on differentiating conditions that require surgical correction from those (bathrocephaly, deformational plagiocephaly/brachycephaly, and neonatal intensive care unit-associated skill deformation, known as NICUcephaly) that do not. The report ends with a brief discussion of microcephaly as it relates to craniosynostosis as well as fontanelle closure. The intent is to improve pediatric care providers’ recognition and timely referral for craniosynostosis and their differentiation of synostotic from deformational and other nonoperative head shape changes.