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More Than 15 Percent Of Ohio Kids Considered Obese: Study

CLEVELAND — More than 15 percent of Ohio children are considered obese.

Ohio has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation for children ages 10 to 17, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Roughly one in seven Ohio kids are considered obese.

“Childhood obesity remains an epidemic in this country,” said Jamie Bussel, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation .

Ohio’s obesity rate for kids 10 to 17 is 15.7 percent. The national obesity rate for that age group is 15.5 percent. Ohio has the 20th highest youth obesity rate in the nation.

Poverty is one of the leading contributing factors to youth obesity, the Foundation found. With the coronavirus pandemic causing shutdowns and mass layoffs around the nation, Ohio and the U.S.’s youth obesity crisis may have grown worse.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic recession have worsened many of the broader factors we know contribute to obesity, including poverty and health disparities. We must confront these current crises in ways that also support long-term health and equity for all children and families in the United States,” Bussel said.

Obesity rates tend to also reveal racial, ethnic and economic disparities. Black, Hispanic and Native American children have higher obesity rates than white or Asian children, the Foundation said.

“We’ve seen these disparities for decades when it comes to childhood obesity rates,” Bussel said. “This year, we’ve also seen people of color and people with low incomes hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. In both cases these outcomes reflect decades of disinvestment in specific communities and specific groups of people, often driven by the systemic racism and discrimination that are still so prevalent in our society.”

To counteract escalating obesity rates, the Foundation recommended the federal government increase SNAP’s maximum benefit level and expand waivers allowing school districts to feed students and the community.

The data on Ohio’s youth obesity rate is included in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s new report, “State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic.”

The report uses data from the 2018-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health and an analysis conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

This article originally appeared on the Across Ohio Patch

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Pfizer to enroll kids as young as 12 in COVID-19 vaccine study

(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc will enroll participants as young as 12 in its large, late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial to understand how it works in a wider age group.

While severe COVID-19 symptoms are extremely rare in infected children, they can pass on the virus to high-risk groups such as the elderly.

That makes determining the effectiveness of a potential vaccine in children crucial, as vaccines work differently in kids and adults, the FDA said in its guidelines https://www.fda.gov/media/139638/download in June.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted permission to the drugmaker and German partner BioNTech SE to enroll younger participants this month, according to an update on the U.S. company’s website https://www.pfizer.com/science/coronavirus/vaccine on Monday.

Last month, Pfizer scaled up its trial to about 44,000 participants, from up to 30,000, to enroll people as young as 16 and those with chronic, stable HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B.

The company said on Tuesday it would enroll children in its study based on satisfactory safety data in older adolescents and young adults, but did not specify a timeline.

Pfizer is racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for the new coronavirus with rivals such as Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson.

Late-stage vaccine trials initiated by Moderna, J&J and Novavax Inc are testing their respective candidates only in adults.

AstraZeneca’s U.K. vaccine trial, targeting more than 12,000 volunteers, will have one out of 11 subgroups with children 5 to 12 years of age. Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said last month that tests on children had not yet started.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shinjini Ganguli)

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Pfizer to start testing its Covid-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12

It will be the first coronavirus vaccine trial to include children in the United States.

A team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital will begin vaccinating teenagers aged 16 and 17 this week, and will move to enroll 12-to 15-year-olds later, said Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the hospital.

The company confirmed on its website it has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to enroll children as young as 12 in its trial.

“We really think a vaccine for adolescents and children is going to be critical for getting Covid under control,” Frenck told CNN in a telephone interview.

“I think one of the things that is important to remember is that although the death rate for children with Covid is lower than in older adults, it’s not zero,” he saId, noting that more than half a million children have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the US. “It is not a nonexistent infection in children.”

Children can develop serious illness and also die from coronavirus and there is no way to predict which ones will, he said. They also can spread it to other, more vulnerable people, including parents, grandparents, healthcare workers and others. And children can develop a rare but serious side-effect from coronavirus infection called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C.
Kids struggle with Covid-19 and its months of aftermath

Frenck also believes more children have been infected with coronavirus than the official data show. “I think we are probably under detecting the number of kids that are infected because they are not getting sick enough to where a parent says they need to go to a doctor,” he said.

“Most of the time in kids, you have a young kid at home and they have a runny nose, they have a cough — you are not going to bring them to a doctor,” he added.

“And most of the time, what a coronavirus causes is a cold.”

Plus, the FDA has asked the companies working to make a coronavirus vaccine to test them in diverse groups — including in people usually missed in drug and vaccine trials, such as the elderly, Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.

New ads encourage minorities to roll up their sleeves and participate in coronavirus vaccine trials

Pfizer, one of four companies to have vaccines in advanced, Phase 3 clinical trials in the US, says it has enrolled close to 38,000 volunteers in its trial. More than 31,000 of them have received the second of two shots.

Frenck said more than 90 people have responded to an ad looking for volunteers to sign up teens for the trial.

Pfizer developed its two-dose coronavirus vaccine with Germany’s BioNtech. It uses pieces of viral genetic material to induce immunity to the coronavirus.

“If regulatory approval or authorization is obtained, the companies expect to manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021,” the company said on its website.

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Natural History of Kids’ Benign Bone Tumors; Sarcoma Staging; Pathologic Fractures

Almost 20% of asymptomatic children and adolescents had benign bone tumors of the extremities, a review of a longitudinal radiographic collection showed.

Overall, 35 benign tumors were identified in 33 pediatric patients whose median age was 8. The most commonly identified tumor types were non-ossifying fibromas (NOF, 7.5%), enostoses (5.2%), osteochondromas (4.5%), and enchondromas (1.8%).

The findings came from a review of the Brush Inquiry, a collection of 25,555 radiographs and 262 healthy children. The x-rays were all left-sided views of each patient’s upper and lower extremities. The overall incidence of benign tumors in the asymptomatic population was 18.9%, and the median age at detection after a previous negative radiograph was 9 years. NOFs were the only tumor type that resolved over time, Christopher D. Collier, MD, of the University of Chicago, reported during the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) virtual meeting.

“The goal of this study was to give us more accurate information on the overall incidence of these [tumors] and the natural history,” MSTS program co-chair Thomas J. Scharschmidt, MD, of Ohio State University in Columbus, said during a review of selected abstracts. “The impetus for the study is that those of us in the oncology world have a lot of consults for NOFs, osteochondromas, and other things that can cause a lot of anxiety for families. This information provides us with some numbers to be able to counsel families when they are sent to us.”

Following are summaries of two other abstracts from the meeting.

Skeletal Staging in Bone Sarcomas

As many as 35% of patients with bone sarcomas and bony metastases at diagnosis would have gone undetected if staging had included only a CT scan of the lungs, a separate review of 9,855 patients showed.

The analysis of the National Cancer Database included patients with newly diagnosed bone sarcomas during 2010-2015: 4,013 patients with chondrosarcoma, 4,105 with osteosarcoma, and 1,737 with Ewing sarcoma. The data showed that 11.7% of patients had lung metastases and 4.8% had bone metastases at diagnosis. The presence of bone metastases was associated with worse survival in each of the three histologies and in all histologies combined (P<0.01).

The study had its origin in the growing interest in modified staging protocols that challenge the value of skeletal staging, Collier and colleagues noted in a poster presentation. The data showed that lung-only staging would have missed metastatic disease in 16% of patients with osteosarcoma, 25% of those with chondrosarcoma, and 35% of patients with Ewing sarcoma.

“I think we probably routinely get bone staging, more so in our bone sarcomas and soft-tissue sarcomas, but I think this study really highlighted the importance of that as well as the poor outcomes with bone metastases overall across all of these bone sarcomas,” said Scharschmidt.

Pathologic Fracture and Limb Salvage Outcomes

Pathologic fracture did not adversely affect patient or implant survival following limb salvage surgery for osteosarcoma, a review of 304 cases showed.

During a median follow-up of 13 years, 17 (5.6%) patients had a

Irate moms hit out at fitness fanatics working out in their kids’ playgrounds

It’s the battle of the monkey bars.

Fed up moms in New York City have had enough of fitness freaks using kids’ playgrounds as makeshift gyms now that workout facilities are operating at limited capacity due to COVID-19.

They’ve labeled the sweaty musclemen — and women — “gross” and “selfish” for increasingly monopolizing equipment designed for toddlers.

According to parents, some don’t wear masks and could pose a health hazard during the pandemic.

“It’s unfair on the children,” said mom of one Ashley Ann Capone, of Astoria Heights, Queens, who regularly visits her neighborhood playground, Sean’s Place, on 38th Street. “They can feel intimidated by them and can’t play properly because of their presence.”

A woman does her workout using the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground.
A woman does her workout using the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground.Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

While it’s mostly individuals exercising on their own, a growing number of personal trainers are bringing their clients within the playgrounds.

“My friend recently spotted a trainer with half-a-dozen clients in tow,” added Capone, 35. “They took up half of the available space with little regard for anyone else.

“They use the monkey bars a lot, which poses the danger for little kiddos being kicked in the face.”

The makeup artist and beauty activist is particularly concerned because her 2-year-old daughter, Bridget, is autistic. She loves using playgrounds like Sean’s Place for sensory input and socializing with other tots.

“Being outside in a safe environment is important for all children, but especially those with special needs,” said Capone.

Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld, 39, another Astoria mom, cited rules imposed by New York City Parks that only permit adults in playgrounds who are accompanied by a child under the age of 12.

Michelle Slonim Rosenfeld
Michelle Slonim RosenfeldTamara Beckwith/New York Post

“Perhaps they should start putting up signs,” suggested the author and comedienne, drolly adding: “Playgrounds are already filled with tears and dirty diapers. We don’t need to add sweaty armpits.”

The ick factor was also addressed by mom of two Annie, who asked for her last name to be withheld for professional reasons. She described buffed-up men running shirtless through the sprinklers at Hoyt Playground to cool off between workouts.

“It was gross,” she said. “There are plenty of other places to exercise so I can’t understand it.

“It’s selfish.”

A man in the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground in Queens.
A man in the playground equipment at Hoyt Playground in Queens.Tamara Beckwith/New York Post

The issue was acknowledged by Anessa Hodgson, press officer for NYC Parks, who said city playgrounds and parks “have seen an increase in traffic for exercise” given the closures of indoor gyms over the past seven months.

“For many New Yorkers during the public health crisis, they have become their gym, their yoga studio and a space for active and passive recreation,” she added. “While it may appear that more adults are using our playgrounds for exercise, this has long been a trend and we ask that they are courteous and considerate to others.”

Her words are little comfort to Heather Timiraos, 43, who moved to Queens from

Kids struggle with Covid-19 and its months of aftermath

She is a Covid-19 long hauler, along with her sister Audrey and mother Jamie.

One of her friends came home in March after spending two years in Wuhan, China. That may have been the source of the virus that would cut across the whole Richmond family and leave them with six months — and counting — of fatigue, pain and uncertainty in its wake.

Jamie Richmond has tallied $6,000 in medical bills for two girls who were healthy until March.

Both girls now have a host of problems, including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which causes a person’s heart rate to shoot up upon standing and lead to dizziness or fainting.

“It’s been horrific to go through this for so long,” Richmond said.

1 in 10 US cases are children

More than 657,000 children and teens across the United States had tested positive for the virus as of October 1, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

That figure is just over 10% of the more than 7 million US coronavirus cases so far, but it’s likely underreported because it relied on state data that is inconsistently collected.

Researchers looking into the long-term effects of Covid-19 are taking notice about how long-haul symptoms are affecting children.

I can&#39;t shake Covid-19: Warnings from young survivors still suffering

These researchers include a team at DePaul University in Chicago, who have launched two separate surveys, one for adults and the other for children, to help capture data on how patients are faring longer term after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Long-haul children may be the most important cohort to research for a couple reasons, according to Leonard Jason, a professor of psychology at DePaul and director of the Center for Community Research, who leads that study.

“Kids are often more defenseless and don’t have the age, maturity or resources to stick up for themselves,” he said. “And kids are less complex in a lot of ways, so there are fewer extraneous factors.”

He has spent much of his career studying post-viral symptoms across a range of diseases and trying to extract lessons from the aftermath of past epidemics.

How to recognize Covid-19 symptoms in children, based on pediatricians&#39; advice

“If you look at all the pandemics from the Spanish flu on down, a certain number of people never get better,” he said. “At least 10% six months later seem to still be having symptoms. With Covid-19, I think the rates could be very much higher.”

His team just completed a four-year study seeking to determine how many college students who contract mononucleosis ultimately develop chronic fatigue syndrome. He sees many of the same concerns with longer-term illnesses children with Covid-19 might develop.

“I fear that a lot of the people will fall through the cracks,” he said.

Maggie Frentheway got sick at the end of March. She later tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, but she still experiences crushing fatigue among other symptoms.

Concerns about gaslighting

The Richmond family in Boise does feel it’s falling through the cracks, despite the parents’ income and ability to take their kids to specialists for issues that have popped up, including vision loss and Sjogren’s syndrome.

“We are incredibly privileged,” Jamie Richmond said. “We are White and upper middle class. We

Study: Kids’ hospitalizations accompany rising unemployment rates

COVID-19 has led to widespread job loss in the United States. And now a new study reports that when unemployment rates rise, so do hospitalizations of children.

For the study, researchers analyzed 12 years of data — 2002 to 2014 — from 14 states. They found that for every 1% increase in unemployment, there was a 2% increase in child hospitalizations for all causes, among them diabetes and poisonings.

Specifically, every 1% bump in unemployment was associated with a 5% increase in hospitalizations for substance abuse and a 4% jump for diabetes. The researchers also found a 2% increase for poisoning and burns, and a 2% rise for children with medical complexity — a high need for prescriptions, medical equipment or services.

For children with diabetes and other forms of medical complexity, reduced family income could mean they’re less likely to receive medical services. This could raise their risk of hospitalizations, the study authors suggested.

It’s also possible that poor housing conditions brought on by slimmer wallets could increase children’s risk of poisonings and burns. And higher household stress due to unemployment might increase alcohol and drug use.

Further research is needed to understand how to prevent declining health in children during economic downturns, said study author Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and his colleagues.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded study was published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

The study relied on data from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on children’s health.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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For Kids Who Hit Puberty Early, Risk of Self-Harm Rises | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Kids who reach puberty earlier than other kids are at an increased risk of harming themselves as teens, British researchers report.

“Our study is the first to investigate the relationship between the timing of puberty and self-harm using an objective measure of pubertal timing in boys,” said lead author Elystan Roberts, a researcher at the University of Bristol.

He said it’s important to find out why self-harm is on the rise among young people so that help can be provided to those who may be most at risk.

“We still don’t know a lot about the psychological effects of early puberty in boys because male pubertal timing is so hard to measure, so our results will be important for helping to reduce self-harm risk in boys as well as girls,” Roberts said in a university news release.

Co-author Becky Mars, from the University of Bristol’s Medical School, said biological factors such as brain development or hormone changes, or psychosocial factors such as bullying, substance use or depression may be involved.

“Once we have a better understanding of the reasons why early developers are more likely to self-harm, interventions can be designed and delivered to help reduce self-harm risk,” Mars said.

Data from more than 5,000 boys and girls showed that early puberty resulted in a higher risk for self-harm at age 16. For girls, the risk continued into adulthood.

Earlier studies have shown that those who experience earlier puberty are at greater risk of mental health problems such as depression and girls are at higher risk of self-harm. But these studies largely focused on girls or a combination of girls and boys.

The researchers looked at the time when boys and girls were growing in height the fastest — age 13.5 for boys and 11.8 for girls. They also looked at questionnaires participants filled out at age 16 and 21.

At 16, 10% of boys and 25% of girls reported harming themselves. By 21, 28% of men and 35% of women reported harming themselves.

Most of those had experienced early puberty, the researchers found. An early growth spurt was linked with a 15% increase in girls’ risk of self-harm at 16. For boys, it was linked with a 28% increase.

This might not show cause and effect, researchers noted, but they are large differences in risk.

The findings were published Oct. 6 in the journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Assault- and Sports-Related Concussions May Differ in Kids

Concussions resulting from assaults and sports may not be entirely similar in children and youth, researchers report. For example, more than twice as many children who experience assault-related concussions report declines in school grades compared with those with sports-related concussions.

The researchers also saw trends suggesting there are clinically meaningful differences between the groups in terms of longer periods before return to school, symptom resolution, and full physician clearance after injury. Patients with assault-related concussion were also less likely to be referred to specialists and to receive initial visio-vestibular testing.



Dr Margaret Means

The research, conducted over a 2-year period with 124 children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years, stands out by focusing on lesser-understood outcomes of concussions related to assault, said study author Margaret Means, MD, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania.

“From my standpoint as a pediatrician and training to be a pediatric neurologist, I want to make sure I come into each patient encounter with as much understanding as I can and to treat all the associated factors adequately,” Means said.

“It’s so important to recognize that one disease process, as we categorize it, such as concussion, doesn’t mean all your patients are going to have the same needs or outcomes,” Means told Medscape Medical News. “We focus a lot on sports-related concussion, and that’s very important, but unless we recognize [that] a child who presents to the emergency department after assault could have a concussion, they are much less likely to be screened for certain concussion aspects.”

The research was presented at the virtual American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference.

Means and her colleagues undertook a retrospective chart review comparing 62 patients with assault-related concussions to the same number with sports- and recreation-related concussion between 2012 and 2014.

Patients with assault-related concussion were more likely to be Black, publicly insured, and to initially present to the emergency department. Markedly fewer patients with assault-related concussions received visio-vestibular testing at their first visit compared with sports concussion patients (25% vs 75%; P < .001).

Although the total number of reported physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep symptoms didn’t differ between the groups during their recovery period, patients with assault-related concussions reported drops in school grades more than twice as often as those youths with sports concussion (47% vs 20%; P = .012).

“The decline in grades in this group suggests it takes longer for children to become asymptomatic from concussion related to an assault,” Means explained. “We need to investigate that further to hopefully address that difference and help kids to not experience that decline in grades.”

Clinically meaningful but not statistically significant differences were revealed in the rate of specialist referral for those with assault-related vs sports-related concussions (53% vs 40%; P = .086). Patients with assault-related concussions also tended to take longer to return to school than patients with sports-related concussions (11 days vs 8 days; P = .252); to experience symptom resolution (13.5 days vs 11.5 days; P = .389); and to

Doctors must be aware of effects of racism on kids’ health, pediatrician’s group says

As the struggle against racism continues to simmer across the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics took a hard look at racial gaps in health care for children during its recent annual meeting.

“We know racism is a social determinant of health, and it’s a public health issue, so we spent a great deal of time focusing on that,” Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pediatrician with the University of Rochester Medical Center, said during a recent HD Live! interview.

Pediatricians need to become more aware of how racism affects both the physical and mental health of children, said Murray, a spokesperson for the academy.

“We need to talk about racism and learn how to be anti-racist, and that we all have work to do,” Murray said. “We also need to identify the traumas that are experienced by children and people of color as happening on a regular basis throughout this nation, whether it be the overt violent acts we see on TV or sometimes the more subtle messages of having a person of color perhaps always be the bad guy on TV shows.”

Access to care for low-income and minority kids is a central concern in the upcoming elections, Murray added.

“We need to continue the Medicaid funding and the Child Health Insurance Program [CHIP],” Murray said. “Preventive care far and wide saves money on the back end. If we don’t have access to routine preventive care, we are going to have a sicker population.

“Children are about 25% of the population, but we know they are also 100% of the future, so we need to make sure we’re taking care of them now,” Murray continued.

The AAP meeting, held Oct. 2-5 and attended in virtual space by more than 14,000 people, also touched on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected children’s health.

“We at the AAP would very much like to ensure that any COVID vaccine be tested and studied on children as well, because they’re part of the population who will certainly at some point need to be vaccinated,” Murray said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned during a speech at the meeting that approval of a COVID vaccine will not suddenly end the pandemic.

“His point was really to stress that a vaccine is not magic,” Murray said. “It’s not going to be the thing that finally makes it all of a sudden go away. We still will have lots of work to do because of the potential months to years it will take to then roll out a vaccine, once we have proven one to be safe.”

In the meantime, people will have to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, engage in good hand hygiene, and follow all the other infection prevention measures that have been touted by public health officials, Murray said.

Pediatricians have been doing their part to ensure patient safety during the pandemic. Kids can get their shots at drive-through vaccination clinics in