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Important News

From The American Academy Of Pediatrics

December 2, 2019
Perinatal Palliative Care
December 2, 2019
Neonatal Provider Workforce

This technical report reviews education, training, competency requirements, and scopes of practice of the different neonatal care providers who work to meet the special needs of neonatal patients and their families in the NICU. Additionally, this report examines the current workforce issues of NICU providers, offers suggestions for establishing and monitoring quality and safety of care, and suggests potential solutions to the NICU provider workforce shortages now and in the future.

December 2, 2019
Aluminum Effects in Infants and Children

Aluminum has no known biological function; however, it is a contaminant present in most foods and medications. Aluminum is excreted by the renal system, and patients with renal diseases should avoid aluminum-containing medications. Studies demonstrating long-term toxicity from the aluminum content in parenteral nutrition components led the US Food and Drug Administration to implement rules for these solutions. Large-volume ingredients were required to reduce the aluminum concentration, and small-volume components were required to be labeled with the aluminum concentration. Despite these rules, the total aluminum concentration from some components continues to be above the recommended final concentration. The concerns about toxicity from the aluminum present in infant formulas and antiperspirants have not been substantiated but require more research. Aluminum is one of the most effective adjuvants used in vaccines, and a large number of studies have documented minimal adverse effects from this use. Long-term, high-concentration exposure to aluminum has been linked in meta-analyses with the development of Alzheimer disease.

December 2, 2019
Emergency Contraception

Despite significant declines over the past 2 decades, the United States continues to experience birth rates among teenagers that are significantly higher than other high-income nations. Use of emergency contraception (EC) within 120 hours after unprotected or underprotected intercourse can reduce the risk of pregnancy. Emergency contraceptive methods include oral medications labeled and dedicated for use as EC by the US Food and Drug Administration (ulipristal and levonorgestrel), the "off-label" use of combined oral contraceptives, and insertion of a copper intrauterine device. Indications for the use of EC include intercourse without use of contraception; condom breakage or slippage; missed or late doses of contraceptives, including the oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch, contraceptive ring, and injectable contraception; vomiting after use of oral contraceptives; and sexual assault. Our aim in this updated policy statement is to (1) educate pediatricians and other physicians on available emergency contraceptive methods; (2) provide current data on the safety, efficacy, and use of EC in teenagers; and (3) encourage routine counseling and advance EC prescription as 1 public health strategy to reduce teenaged pregnancy.

December 2, 2019
Unique Needs of the Adolescent

Adolescence is the transitional bridge between childhood and adulthood; it encompasses developmental milestones that are unique to this age group. Healthy cognitive, physical, sexual, and psychosocial development is both a right and a responsibility that must be guaranteed for all adolescents to successfully enter adulthood. There is consensus among national and international organizations that the unique needs of adolescents must be addressed and promoted to ensure the health of all adolescents. This policy statement outlines the special health challenges that adolescents face on their journey and transition to adulthood and provides recommendations for those who care for adolescents, their families, and the communities in which they live.