The American Academy of Pediatrics has created recommendations for health appraisal and preparation of young people before participation in day, resident, or family camps and to guide health and safety practices at camp. These recommendations are intended for parents and families, primary health care providers, and camp administration and health center staff. Although camps have diverse environments, there are general guidelines that apply to all situations and specific recommendations that are appropriate under special conditions. This policy statement has been reviewed and is supported by the American Camp Association and Association of Camp Nursing.
Alcohol use continues to be problematic for youth and young adults in the United States. Understanding of neurobiology and neuroplasticity continues to highlight the potential adverse impact of underage drinking on the developing brain. This policy statement provides the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics on the issue of alcohol and is supported by an accompanying technical report.
Alcohol use continues to be a major concern from preadolescence through young adulthood in the United States. Results of recent neuroscience research have helped to elucidate neurobiological models of addiction, substantiated the deleterious effects of alcohol on adolescent brain development, and added additional evidence to support the call to prevent and reduce underage drinking. This technical report reviews the relevant literature and supports the accompanying policy statement in this issue of Pediatrics.
Communication of health data has evolved rapidly with the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and communication technology. What used to be sent to patients via paper mail, fax, or e-mail may now be accessed by patients via their EHRs, and patients may also communicate securely with their medical team via certified technology. Although EHR technologies have great potential, their most effective applications and uses for communication between pediatric and adolescent patients, guardians, and medical teams has not been realized. There are wide variations in available technologies, guiding policies, and practices; some physicians and patients are successful in using certified tools but others are forced to limit their patients’ access to e-health data and associated communication altogether. In general, pediatric and adolescent patients are less likely than adult patients to have electronic access and the ability to exchange health data. There are several reasons for these limitations, including inconsistent standards and recommendations regarding the recommended age for independent access, lack of routine EHR support for the ability to filter or proxy such access, and conflicting laws about patients’ and physicians’ rights to access EHRs and ability to communicate electronically. Effective, safe electronic exchange of health data requires active collaboration between physicians, patients, policy makers, and health information technology vendors. This policy statement addresses current best practices for these stakeholders and delineates the continued gaps and how to address them.
Interest and participation in organized sports for children, preadolescents, and adolescents continue to grow. Because of increased participation, and younger entry age, in organized sports, appropriate practice, game schedules, and content become more important, taking into account athlete developmental stage and skills. Parental support for organized sports in general, with focus on development and fun instead of winning, has emerged as a key factor in the athlete’s enjoyment of sports. Schools and community sports organizations who support multiple levels of sport (eg, recreational, competitive, elite) can include more youth who want to play sports and combat sport dropout. This report reviews the benefits and risks of organized sports as well as the roles of schools, community organizations, parents, and coaches in organized sports. It is designed to complement the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical reports "Physical Activity Assessment and Counseling in Pediatric Clinical Settings" and "Sports Specialization and Intensive Training in Young Athletes" by reviewing relevant literature on healthy organized sports for youth and providing guidance on organized sport readiness and entry. The report also provides guidance for pediatricians on counseling parents and advocating for healthy organized sports participation.