Coordinated Care Through ‘Medical Home’ Best for Chronically Ill Kids

Children suffering from complex chronic illnesses can receive effective and less expensive care from a “medical home” or clinic of easy-to-access health care professionals, according to a new study published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The children who received treatment at an enhanced medical home clinic at the University of Texas in Houston were less likely to need hospitalization compared to those who received their usual care outside the clinic.

Learn more about the study’s findings on Health Day.

New Study Finds ADHD Medications Do Not Stunt Kids’ Growth

The findings of a new study suggest that children’s ADHD medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, will not stunt their growth. The study followed three groups of children, one with ADHD taking stimulant medications, one with ADHD not taking medication, and one without ADHD and not on medication. The individuals were tracked from childhood through adulthood. At the conclusion of the study, the group taking ADHD medication did not show any difference in adult height from the other groups.

Read more about the study on WebMD

CDC Tracks Enterovirus Outbreak in the Midwest

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking an outbreak of enterovirus D-68 in children in the Midwest, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The virus can cause severe respiratory illness in some children, and clinicians and health departments around the country should be aware of and on the lookout for any symptoms of the virus in their area. Children with asthma seem at a higher risk for developing respiratory problems if infected. Currently clusters of severe respiratory illnesses have been seen in children throughout Missouri and Illinois beginning in August.

View the report from The Journal of the American Medical Association

Rare Respiratory Virus Spreads to 22 States

A rare respiratory illness sickening children around the country continues to show up in new places. It has been confirmed in 22 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is an uncommon enterovirus strain — enterovirus 68 — that has not made many appearances since its discovery in 1962. The illness can cause severe breathing problems, which can be particularly dangerous for children with asthma.

Read more from The Washington Post:

What is Enterovirus 68?

Enterovirus D68 is a non-polio enterovirus identified in 1962 but not commonly seen in the United States.

Symptoms of the virus include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches

More severe symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing

Who is at Risk for Enterovirus?

Infants, children, and teenagers are the most likely to contract enterovirus because they have not yet built an immunity from previous exposures. In many cases the symptoms of the disease are mild, though children with asthma may be at a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

How Can I Reduce My Child’s Risk of Enterovirus?

Since the virus is often spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches an infected surface, there are several ways to reduce your child’s risk of catching enterovirus.

  • Wash hands often throughout the day
  • Avoid touching the face
  • Avoid sharing utensils or drinks with someone who is sick
  • Disinfect surfaces such as toys and doorknobs that the children often come in contact with



Preventive Care for U.S. Kids Often Inadequate

Preventive health care services for children is highly variable and often inadequate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report, available as a free PDF, included several key findings.

Key findings include:

  • Half of infants with a failed hearing screening didn’t have documented follow-up testing.
  • About 80% of parents with children aged 10 to 47 months weren’t asked to complete formal developmental screening.
  • Two-thirds of 1- to 2-year-olds didn’t have lead testing.

See more at:

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month


Photo credit: Kisses for Cami

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, designed to bring awareness to the need for additional funding and research to help find a cure for childhood cancer. There are many ways to support this important cause.


Many websites offer more information on childhood cancer statistics and why there is such a strong need for more funding in this area. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer provides this helpful infographic on childhood cancer facts. The American Childhood Cancer Organization discusses the different types of childhood cancer and the treatment options for each.

Raise Awareness

Many cancer awareness programs have been created to help more people become involved in the fight against childhood cancer. Ways to participate include the Gold Ribbon Awareness program, Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s “Ways to Help” page, and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer’s “Be a Digital Advocate” campaign.


Every donation helps advance research on cures for childhood cancer. Options for donating include the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.