Kids get runny noses. But is it caused by allergies, a simple cold or something more serious like a sinus infection? If your child has a history of sinus infections, a new review of clinical guidelines may be just what the doctor ordered.
When a child is in pain and crying, a loving parent wants nothing more than to make the pain go away. Ear infections can be very painful and often a parent will request antibiotics to treat the infection from their pediatrician or family doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating childhood ear infections and would like to see fewer antibiotics prescribed.
The guidelines more clearly define the signs and symptoms that indicate an infection that needs treatment. They also encourage more observation, with follow-ups, instead of antibiotics. This would also include some children under the age of two. Most children with ear infections get well on their own and can be safely monitored for a few days.
For children with recurrent infections, the guidelines advise physicians and parents on when it is time to see a specialist.
"Between a more accurate diagnosis and the use of observation, we think we can greatly decrease the use of antibiotics," said the lead author of the new guidelines, Dr. Allan Lieberthal, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City, in Los Angeles, and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
The guidelines say that there are definitely times when antibiotics should be prescribed such as when children have a severe ear infection. Severe is defined as when a child has either a fever of 102.2 degrees or higher or is in significant pain. He or she has a ruptured ear drum with drainage, or an infection in both ears for kids two years or younger. These account for fewer cases but studies have shown that children benefit from antibiotics given right away.
It's been since 2004 since the last set of guidelines were issued. Those guidelines stimulated new research that has provided evidence for the new AAP guidelines that will appear in the March issue of Pediatrics
Current treatment for teens that struggle with mental disorders and thoughts of suicide doesn't appear to be helping according to a new study. Adolescents need a more intuitive treatment plan and for the most part, that's not what they are getting.
The Harvard study found that around 1 in every 8 U.S. teens have thought about suicide and nearly 1 in 25 either made plans to or actually attempted suicide.
Researchers collected data on suicidal behaviors from 6,500 teenagers, aged 13 to 18. They also had the teen's parents fill out questionnaires.
Just over 12 percent of the teens said they had thought about suicide and 4 percent said they had created a plan or attempted suicide.
"What adults say is, the highest risk time for first starting to think about suicide is in adolescence," said Matthew Nock, a psychologist who worked on the study at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Researchers found that almost all the teens who had thought about or attempted suicide had a mental disorder including, but not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD or abused alcohol or drugs.
While 89 percent of the teens were in treatment for various mental disorders, researchers discovered that 55 percent didn't start their suicidal behavior until after treatment began.
Mental health professionals are not simply meeting with adolescents in response to their suicidal thoughts or behaviors, the authors said.
Nock also noted that the results were both encouraging and disturbing.
"We know that a lot of the kids who are at risk and thinking about suicide are getting (treatment)," he told Reuters Health. However, "We don't know how to stop them - we don't have any evidence-based treatments for suicidal behavior."
Nock believes that treatment is important for teens that have mental disorders or may be having thoughts of suicide, but that treatment needs to be better.