Archive for the ‘Pediatrics’ Category

Full spectrum light, sickness in school children

August 2, 2009

Researchers replaced ordinary classroom lights with full-spectrum lights (sold as Vitalite) in three classrooms in a Vermont school. A survey of illness in children in these three classrooms revealed that they suffered less illness than students in other rooms in the school, and less sickness than students in these rooms had the previous year, with ordinary fluorescent lights.
The teachers liked the full-spectrum light, and considered it more natural. They did not wish to return to the former type of lighting at the end of the study period. (The Lancet 2:1205-1026, November 21, 1987) Copyright 1987 Phylis Austin


Laryngitis, cough, ice pack

July 30, 2009

Vocal cords which become swollen during laryngitis with cough may be relieved by the use of an ice collar made by placing crushed ice in plastic wrap, and attaching it securely to the child’s throat. (Cordtlandt Forum, October, 1989) Copyright 1989 Phylis Austin

Children’s shoes

July 30, 2009

Purchasing shoes for children is often a difficult task for parents, as salespeople are not properly trained in this area. The debate has raged for years whether sneakers were adequate or would lead to permanent foot damage; low tops versus high tops, stiff sole vs. flexible soles, and so on. A review of the subject, based on recommendations of pediatricians, podiatrists, and orthopedic physicians now provide some guidelines. Children do not need shoes until they begin walking. A ten year study of children who wore sneakers revealed no long-term adverse results; most of the doctors surveyed believed that sneakers were adequate for children with normal feet. However children learning to walk while wearing sneakers slipped more often than those wearing leather shoes. There was no clear preference for high top shoes over low top. If the child continually walks out of his shoes or takes them off, high tops may be helpful. The authors caution that shoes should be tried on both feet before they are purchased. The shoes should be shaped like the child’s foot, and not curved in at the toes. Shoes should be long enough to allow one-half inch between the end of the child’s big toe and the end of the shoe. If the parent cannot feel this the shoe may be too stiff, and should not be purchased. Shoe soles should be soft enough for the parent to flex the shoe with one hand. (Pediatric Nursing 13(4) 230-232, 271, July-August, 1987) Copyright Phylis Austin

Childhood migraine, tinted glasses

July 30, 2009

The use of rose-tinted glasses reduced the incidence of migraine attacks in a group of children. Blue tinted glasses were also used in the study, but were not as effective as the rose tint. (Headache 31:533-536, 1991) Copyright 1991 Phylis Austin

Cesarean section, neurological development

July 30, 2009

Infants born by cesarean section are apparently deprived of the catecholamine surge induced by vaginal birth. A study of 30 infants demonstrated less optimal neurological responses in those delivered by cesarean section. The authors feel that high catecholamine levels may be important in the infant’s neurological development in the first few days after birth. (Early Human Development 26:51-60, 1991) Copyright 1991 Phylis Austin

Children, caffeine withdrawal

July 26, 2009

Children who habitually consume large amounts of caffeinated soft drinks may suffer withdrawal symptoms if deprived of them. Symptoms may include slowed reaction times and reduced attention span. The researchers suggest that the best way to avoid this is not to allow children to have caffeinated beverages.

It is felt that 98 percent of American children consume caffeine at least once a week. (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 37:858-865, 1998)
Copyright 1998 Phylis A Austin

Vegetarian diet, Vitamin D Levels

July 26, 2009

A study from the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the Perinatal Research Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health has revealed that women who eat a vegetarian diet have higher levels of 1,25-didyroxy-vitamin D than meat eaters. The researchers focused special attention on women who were breastfeeding their children. They feared that their diet was not adequate to provide sufficient vitamin D for their infants, as their diet was mostly whole grain cereals and vegetables. The women in this study generally avoided meats, eggs, and dairy products. Vitamin D is necessary for proper absorption of calcium and it was thought that these women, on what is considered a low calcium diet, may be unable to give their infants the recommended calcium. Furthermore, a vegetarian diet containing large amounts of grains may be high in phytate, which had until recently been thought to hinder calcium absorption. The researchers conclude that the body is able to adapt to varying dietary and physiologic conditions, making the necessary adjustment to provide adequate calcium levels.
(Obstetrics and Gynecology 70(6)870-874, December 1987)
Copyright 1987 Phylis A Austin)

Appendicitis in children, diet

July 26, 2009

A British study revealed that low water intake is a risk factor for the development of appendicitis in children. (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 41:316-318, 1986) Copyright 1986 Phylis Austin

Day care, otitis media, upper respiratory system

July 8, 2009

Children placed in day care centers suffer more frequent upper respiratory tract infections and are more likely to develop otitis media (ear ache) than are children cared for in their own homes. (Pediatrics 87(2)129-133, February 1991) Copyright 1991 Phylis Austin

Natural light in schools

July 8, 2009

Warren E. Hathaway, a Canadian psychologist, reports that elementary school children who have high-pressure sodium vapor lamps as the light source in their classroom have lower attendance and achievement rates, and develop more slowly than children whose classrooms have full-spectrum, ultraviolet supplemented lighting. (Psychology Today 27(2)8, March-April 1994) Copyright 1994 Phylis Austin