Wednesday, December 1, 2010

News from the American College of Pediatricians


Logo compressed for webAmerican College of Pediatricians  



  December 2010                                                                                               

  Volume 23, Issue 1 





Blessings of the Season!




Membership renewal
Renewal notices were mailed to you the first week of November in a 6"x9" padded envelope. It is most helpful if you can pay your renewal dues by the end of January as it not only helps us in planning the budget but also reduces the expense of sending reminders. Also, if you pay by December 31, your payment may be deductible as a business expense or donation for this calendar year.

If you have not received your renewal notice, please contact the office at 888-376-1877.




Nominations being accepted for the AAP Bioethics Section
Are you a member of the AAP, and do you have a bioethics background? We encourage you to submit your name for nomination to the AAP Bioethics Section.

The Section on Bioethics (SOB) is seeking candidates for a position on the Executive Committee. The successful candidate can serve up to two 3-year terms beginning November 1, 2011.  Nominations will be accepted until December 15, 2010 and elections will be held in March 2011.  


EC members are required to:

  • Attend all EC meetings (The SOB EC has1 face-to-face meeting per year) and participate in conference calls as needed.
  • Review all relevant material before meetings. Make contributions and voice objective opinions on issues
  • Complete individual assignments in accordance with a timeline/deadline established by the chairperson and/or staff.
  • Review and provide feedback on policy statements, clinical reports, and other AAP materials.
  • Contribute to the development of new and/or revised policy statements, clinical and technical reports and other documents related to ethics.
  • Represent the SOB in meetings of other sections, committees, councils, or organizations as directed by the Academy.
  • Be accessible and responsive to the chairperson, other EC members, and staff via phone and e-mail.

The Section Nomination Committee will review the nominees and select the candidates for the ballot. Submission of this form does not guarantee inclusion on the ballot. Nominees must be in good standing with their National AAP membership as well as their membership in the section.


If you are interested please submit your name and information via Survey Monkey at:





Do you have an interest in sex education/abstinence and sexual orientation issues as they relate to adolescents?

The College is seeking members who have an interest and/or extensive knowledge of sexual orientation and gender identity issues in youth. Individuals are needed to help write position statements and articles in this area.

Please contact the College at 888-376-1877 or by email at if you are interested in joining the Committee on Adolescent Sexuality.




Chastity is "Sexy!"
Members: Ideas on how to get this message across to adolescents by way of optimal sexual health and relationship programs? We appreciate your input. Please send your thoughts to




Obesity and Kids

According the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over the last 30 years obesity rates have tripled for kids.

Kids are now suffering from diseases that were once only seen in adults, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea, and weight-related orthopaedic problems. Often, the kids most affected are in low-income minority groups.

As reported in
Medscape Medical News, there has been some success with anti-obesity programs that target minority groups and their families when using culturally-tailored interventions. One culturally-tailored intervention involved an after school dance class designed specifically for African-American girls, as well as health education for the entire family. The successes achieved were not changes in BMI but instead secondary outcomes were improved: fasting total cholesterol level, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, incidence of hyperinsulinemia, and depressive symptoms.

Although the success was not as anticipated, it is encouraging that, with some creativity, effective programs can be created that will make a difference.




The Family GDP: How Marriage and Fertility Drive the Economy

 The contribution of the family to the economy is massive. Every marriage creates a new household, an independent economic unit that generates income, spends, saves, and invests. The vast majority of these new households produces babies and transforms what are largely self-centered children into responsible adults, contributing the necessary next generation of human capital to the economy.

But that new household does more than simply increase the labor force or consumer spending. As this essay will demonstrate, marrying and staying married for life, bearing and raising a sufficient brood of children, and participating in public worship on a weekly basis transforms the behavior and attitudes of men and women, and their children, in profound ways that not only strengthen the economy but also serves as its very lifeblood. Like any successful entrepreneur or businessman, continuously married men and women not only tend to think less of themselves and more of others but also focus less on the immediate and more on the long-term. Like any responsible portfolio manager, they are thinking about the future, channeling their energies into achievements of lasting value and true wealth, including children they are raising with the same future orientation.


To read this full article by Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., visit the Ruth Institute website.




Federal Policy: Risk Avoidance for Smoking But Not For Sexual Activity?
The US Dept. of Health and Human Services announced a new strategic action plan to End the Tobacco Epidemic on November 10, 2010.

According to HHS, one part of the new campaign includes graphic warnings of the possible physical harm that can result from smoking: "Specifically, the proposed rule details a requirement of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that nine new larger and more noticeable textual warning statements and color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences of smoking appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette advertisements."

At the same time that HHS is prioritizing a strong prevention approach to smoking (ie. Don't begin smoking and if you presently smoke, quit), the same public health  risk avoidance paradigm is strangely absent from sexual health strategies for youth. In fact, among the many topics addressed by HHS, sexual health is the single strategy where skills fail to prioritize the best health outcomes.

Action Item: Contact HHS Secretary Sebelius, and ask her to give the same emphasis on risk avoidance to sexual activity as she does for other health strategies. 
Contact the Secretary at

For more information on the smoking campaign:
See the visual warnings recommended as a part of the campaign here.
Learn more about the new federal anti-smoking strategy here.




FDA Panel Discusses Role of Proton Pump Inhibitors in Infants
Dr. Alex Rakowsky, College member from the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, participated in the FDA panel discussion concerning clinical trials of PPIs in patients younger than 1 year.
None of the 4 PPIs (esomeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, or omeprazole) has been approved for use in infants. In response to the question, "Is the pathophysiology of GERD the same in patients ages 1 month to less than 1 year and adults?" Dr. Rakowsky noted that there is probably a subclass of symptomatic infants who have a pH-induced problem that could be identical to adults, "but there is also a large percentage of infants who may have some other mechanism causing those symptoms - so a categorical 'no.' " The other panelist responses echoed this sentiment.

25% of very low birth weight premature babies go home on antireflux medication and often stay on it for some time. At one time, the PPI drugs were considered completely safe. Unfortunately, side effects such as changes in bone metabolism and intestinal bacterial flora are occurring. While some on the panel stated that using these agents "off-label" in infants may help far more than they hurt, and the challenge of getting a specific indication in this setting may be unwarranted, much of the panel agreed that before approving the use of PPIs in infants, the potential harm and side effects must be fully understood.

To review the full article, log onto





Study Warns of Over-Reliance of Blood Tests for Food Allergy

In a report published online October 29th in the Journal of Pediatrics, the significant message according to Dr. David Fleischer from National Jewish Health in Denver, is that pediatricians need to be selective in ordering serum blood tests for food allergy and be careful in interpreting the results before placing children on what may be unnecessary elimination diets, especially in children with atopic dermatitis.

According to Dr. Fleischer, although these tests are commercially available for any practitioner to order, they should only be ordered if the clinical history is suggestive of a possible IgE-mediated reaction to a food.

To read the full article log into Medscape:




pic of stick childrenLiberation - or deprivation?
The legalization of same-sex marriage means that children will grow up without mothers or without fathers. Is this progress?

Gays are not second-class citizens but a gay man certainly makes a second-class mother. Two lesbian women may be model citizens, but neither of them can be a Dad to a little boy. The most serious objection to gay marriage is that it means gay parenting, and gay parenting means depriving a child of either his mother or his father. The gay marriage debate, at its heart, is not about the rights and needs of the adults, but of the child.

here to read the full article from written by David van Gend. 




Burris Amendment allowing for tax-payer funded abortions


ACTION ALERT: Take a few minutes to write your Senators and ask them to vote against any Department of Defense Authorization bill that contains the Burris Amendment which would allow for taxpayer-subsidized abortions on our military bases here at home and abroad.


Please write your Senators today and ask them to vote against the Department of Defense Authorization bill if it contains the Burris Amendment allowing for taxpayer-subsidized abortions on military bases.




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