Children who join families through the process of adoption, whether through a domestic or international route, often have multiple health care needs. Pediatricians and other health care personnel are in a unique position to guide families in achieving optimal health for the adopted children as families establish a medical home. Shortly after placement in an adoptive home, it is recommended that children have a timely comprehensive health evaluation to provide care for known medical needs and identify health issues that are unknown. It is important to begin this evaluation with a review of all available medical records and pertinent verbal history. A complete physical examination then follows. The evaluation should also include diagnostic testing based on findings from the history and physical examination as well as the risks presented by the child’s previous living conditions. Age-appropriate screenings may include, but are not limited to, newborn screening panels and hearing, vision, dental, and formal behavioral and/or developmental screenings. The comprehensive assessment may occur at the time of the initial visit to the physician after adoptive placement or can take place over several visits. Adopted children can be referred to other medical specialists as deemed appropriate. The Council on Adoption, Foster Care, and Kinship Care is a resource within the American Academy of Pediatrics for physicians providing care for children who are being adopted.
In hospitals throughout the United States, institutional ethics committees (IECs) have become a standard vehicle for the education of health professionals about biomedical ethics, for the drafting and review of hospital policy, and for clinical ethics case consultation. In addition, there is increasing interest in a role for the IEC in organizational ethics. Recommendations are made about the membership and structure of an IEC, and guidance is provided for those serving on an IEC.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a multisystem disorder that primarily involves the skin and peripheral nervous system. Its population prevalence is approximately 1 in 3000. The condition is usually recognized in early childhood, when pigmentary manifestations emerge. Although NF1 is associated with marked clinical variability, most children affected follow patterns of growth and development within the normal range. Some features of NF1 can be present at birth, but most manifestations emerge with age, necessitating periodic monitoring to address ongoing health and developmental needs and minimize the risk of serious medical complications. In this report, we provide a review of the clinical criteria needed to establish a diagnosis, the inheritance pattern of NF1, its major clinical and developmental manifestations, and guidelines for monitoring and providing intervention to maximize the health and quality of life of a child affected.
Children with special health care needs should have access to proper resources for safe transportation as do typical children. This policy statement reviews important considerations for transporting children with special health care needs and provides current guidance for the protection of children with specific health care needs, including those with airway obstruction, orthopedic conditions or procedures, developmental delays, muscle tone abnormalities, challenging behaviors, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children. In 2017, drowning claimed the lives of almost 1000 US children younger than 20 years. A number of strategies are available to prevent these tragedies. As educators and advocates, pediatricians can play an important role in the prevention of drowning.