Guides and practices

Development of clinical guidelines in paediatrics and child health: This newly updated manual by the RCPCH describes the process to develop and update high standard clinical guidelines in paediatrics and child health. It also includes information on grading evidence, consensus methods, dissemination and implementation. Furthermore, it incorporates changes from the 2018 NICE process manual reflecting important changes such as the additional requirement of a minimum of two lay representatives as part of the guideline development group.

Supporting babies, mothers and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: As part of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, they have produced a series of statements, guidance sheets, education refresher documents, resources and FAQs for health care professionals to continue their care of babies, mothers and families in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes guidance documents to support health services to provide remote care, as well as educational refreshers on breastfeeding.

Data and tools

Child development outcomes: As part of the universal health visitor service, all children in England are eligible for a Health Child Programme development health review around two years of age. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is used to provide an objective measure of development (communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social skills). This data allows health professionals and local authorities to track the development in their local areas and allocate resources respectively. This newly updated dataset includes all development outcomes from the 3rd quarter, 2019-2020.

Research

Effects of 20-year infancy-onset dietary counselling on cardiometabolic risk factors in the Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intevention Project (STRIP) - 6-year post-intervention follow-up: This study is a 6 year follow-up from a 20-year dietary counselling intervention given to children bi-annually from infancy. The results showed that dietary counselling introduced in infancy provided a sustained benefit to diet quality and cardiometabolic risk factor levels, 6 years after the end of intervention at the age of 26.

Association of delaying school start time with sleep duration, timing and quality amongst adolescents: A cohort study of 455 students were followed up from grade 9 through grade 11, to examine how delaying school start time is association with objectively assessed sleep duration, timing and quality. The study showed that by delaying high school start times, adolescents could extend their sleep duration. The authors state that a later start time could be an important sleep promotion intervention to address the population-wide adolescent sleep deficit.

Mental health status among children in home confinement during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in Hubei province, China: With more than 180 million students in China restricted to their homes during the outbreak, this study investigated depressive and anxiety symptoms among students in Hubei province. The findings of the study aim to support and optimize interventions on the mental health of children for stakeholders in all countries affected by COVID-19.

Child and adolescent immunisation in the UK - current issues: The UK immunisation programme is constantly under review, primarily to monitor safety and effectiveness. This article describes the changes to the vaccination programme, the impact of  the recently introduced vaccines, and addresses current issues including the increase in number of measles cases and parental concerns regarding vaccinations.

Infant sleep and child mental health - a longitudinal investigation: Infant sleep problems have shown some association with poor mental health in early childhood. This longitudinal investigation aims to study whether poor mental health persists into middle childhood. Findings suggest that infants with sleep problems are at increased risk for emotional symptoms at age 4, anxiety symptoms at age 10, and are at higher odds of meeting criteria for an emotional disorder at age 10. Recommendations include enhanced support for families and monitoring of these infants through childhood.

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