This is a joint policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians, and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians on pediatric readiness in emergency medical services systems.
Ill and injured children have unique needs that can be magnified when the child’s ailment is serious or life-threatening. This is especially true in the out-of-hospital environment. Providing high-quality out-of-hospital care to children requires an emergency medical services (EMS) system infrastructure designed to support the care of pediatric patients. As in the emergency department setting, it is important that all EMS agencies have the appropriate resources, including physician oversight, trained and competent staff, education, policies, medications, equipment, and supplies, to provide effective emergency care for children. Resource availability across EMS agencies is variable, making it essential that EMS medical directors, administrators, and personnel collaborate with outpatient and hospital-based pediatric experts, especially those in emergency departments, to optimize prehospital emergency care for children. The principles in the policy statement "Pediatric Readiness in Emergency Medical Services Systems" and this accompanying technical report establish a foundation on which to build optimal pediatric care within EMS systems and serve as a resource for clinical and administrative EMS leaders.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with reported prevalence in the United States of 1 in 59 children (approximately 1.7%). Core deficits are identified in 2 domains: social communication/interaction and restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior. Children and youth with ASD have service needs in behavioral, educational, health, leisure, family support, and other areas. Standardized screening for ASD at 18 and 24 months of age with ongoing developmental surveillance continues to be recommended in primary care (although it may be performed in other settings), because ASD is common, can be diagnosed as young as 18 months of age, and has evidenced-based interventions that may improve function. More accurate and culturally sensitive screening approaches are needed. Primary care providers should be familiar with the diagnostic criteria for ASD, appropriate etiologic evaluation, and co-occurring medical and behavioral conditions (such as disorders of sleep and feeding, gastrointestinal tract symptoms, obesity, seizures, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and wandering) that affect the child’s function and quality of life. There is an increasing evidence base to support behavioral and other interventions to address specific skills and symptoms. Shared decision making calls for collaboration with families in evaluation and choice of interventions. This single clinical report updates the 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics clinical reports on the evaluation and treatment of ASD in one publication with an online table of contents and section view available through the American Academy of Pediatrics Gateway to help the reader identify topic areas within the report.
Early identification and intervention for developmental disorders are critical to the well-being of children and are the responsibility of pediatric professionals as an integral function of the medical home. This report models a universal system of developmental surveillance and screening for the early identification of conditions that affect children’s early and long-term development and achievement, followed by ongoing care. These conditions include autism, deafness/hard-of-hearing, intellectual and motor disabilities, behavioral conditions, and those seen in other medical conditions. Developmental surveillance is supported at every health supervision visit, as is as the administration of standardized screening tests at the 9-, 18-, and 30-month visits. Developmental concerns elicited on surveillance at any visit should be followed by standardized developmental screening testing or direct referral to intervention and specialty medical care. Special attention to surveillance is recommended at the 4- to 5-year well-child visit, prior to entry into elementary education, with screening completed if there are any concerns. Developmental surveillance includes bidirectional communication with early childhood professionals in child care, preschools, Head Start, and other programs, including home visitation and parenting, particularly around developmental screening. The identification of problems should lead to developmental and medical evaluations, diagnosis, counseling, and treatment, in addition to early developmental intervention. Children with diagnosed developmental disorders are identified as having special health care needs, with initiation of chronic condition management in the pediatric medical home.