The American Academy of Pediatrics, California, is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults living in California.

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California Pediatric News

10 Steps to Raise Healthier Eaters

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD, FAAP | “Vegetables! I hated them as a child—and I still hate them. My younger brother hated them more. As I watched my mother hover over him for hours trying to shovel vegetables into him, while completely ignoring me, I began to hate my brother even more than vegetables. Now you know why I became a pediatrician — to stamp out vegetables, and to overcome my guilt at wanting to kill my brother!” —Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton in response to a reader’s question on the New York Times’s Well blog (September 16, 2008) It’s hard to know if Dr. Brazelton’s disdain for vegetables would have been so profound had his mother not been so invested in him, and especially his brother, eating them. Parents around the world have tried the same tactic of forcing kids to eat their vegetables, with little lasting success.  Pediatricians are uniquely positioned to help parents adopt different strategies to help set the stage for their kids to make healthy choices rather than succumb to food battles. Here I outline 10 evidence-informed strategies parents can use to raise healthier eaters. Evidence-Informed Strategies to Raise Healthier Eaters 1. Model Healthy Eating In one study, parental modeling was associated with increased milk, fruit juice, and vegetable intake. Another study found that children’s intake of a novel food increased at meals during which they witnessed a teacher enthusiastically eat the food. 2. Eat Together Not only are family meals generally more nutritious for children, eating together also offers an opportunity to socialize about food and eating, and model healthy behaviors. One study... read more

Pertussis and Immunizations: Facts, Myths, and Misconceptions

By James D. Cherry MD, MSc | As a physician I have seen pertussis cases and participated in pertussis immunization for 57 years (1). We studied reactogenicity of DTwP vaccines in 1978-1979 and subsequent to that time I, with various colleagues, studied the epidemiology of pertussis and pertussis immunization; adolescent and adult pertussis; and carried out numerous studies with a DTaP vaccine including a DTaP vaccine efficacy trial in Germany. More recently in conjunction with investigators at the California Department of Public Health and pediatric infectious diseases colleagues we have studied severe pertussis in young infants (2, 3) and have recommendations in place for young infants who are hospitalized with pertussis. I have analyzed why pertussis vaccines fail as well as the present resurgence of pertussis (4-7). During the last decade I have given numerous presentations to pediatricians about pertussis and pertussis immunization. During this period I have fielded many questions and in this presentation I will address many of these as well as recommendations which I think are important in 2014. Severe Pertussis in Young Infants in California During the period between 1998 and January 2011 there were 50 pertussis deaths in young infants in California. In the fall of 2009 a number of us presented advice relating to the diagnosis and management of pertussis in young infants to all AAP District IX members (8). Also in 2010-11 we had the opportunity to study severe pertussis in 31 infants ≤ 90 days of age and to evaluate exchange blood transfusion in the management of extreme leukocytosis with lymphocytosis (2, 3). The following predictors of death or pulmonary hypertension... read more

Teens and Table Talk

By Kate Land, MD, FAAP | Before my kids were born and when they were very small, I used to fear the teen years. Visions of my sweet cuddling tots turned into Goth, rude teens hiding in their rooms with ear buds in danced through my brain. Now with two, nearly three teens at home I no longer fear. Their reality is a thing of wonder to me. They are not rude. Quiet at times, but not rude. I have to pull out the ear buds all too often but, they do not sulk behind closed doors. And most reassuring, they are still quite cuddly – when they want to be. Given this reassuring state, I can be taken aback when they momentarily act like “real” teens. Family dinnertime is sacred in my house. Even through change, upheaval and redefinition of family itself, dinners together come first. Last night at dinner, I asked the kids why they thought dinners together were so important. My middle child said with a snarky tone, “Because they keep us connected at the heart.” Her hands acted this out with fingers first intertwined and then in the shape of a heart. Eyes rolled. But then, thankfully there came a smile. The evidence continues to pour in — eating meals with family is good for kids. In 2010 a study of nearly 9,000 4 year-old children published in the journal Pediatrics concluded (in part) that young children who regularly ate the evening meal as a family had a significantly lower prevalence of obesity. A 2011 meta-analysis in Pediatrics examines three concerns: obesity, unhealthy eating and disordered eating. It found that each of these negative behaviors was decreased in... read more

American Academy of Pediatrics, California, Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 members represent communities from the Northern California border to the central San Joaquin Valley.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 serves Kern, LA, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties.

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 is dedicated to achieving optimal health for all children in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 provides evidence-based recommendations for child health in Orange County.