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MNAAP Newsletter

New Newborn Screening Bill Effective August 1, 2014

On May 6, Governor Dayton signed the newborn screening restoration bill into law with the full support of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP) and other medical organizations. The new law, which went into effect August 1, positions Minnesota to save as many lives as possible while upholding parents’ rights to refuse testing, request destruction of blood spots/test results, or both.

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Creating a Health Care Home for Children in Foster Care

By Amelia Burgess, MD, MPH, FAAP, pediatrician at Park Nicollet

Foster care and the conditions of abuse or neglect that lead to foster care are seen in both rural and urban settings throughout Minnesota. Twenty six percent of all Minnesota’s children in out-of-home care come from counties with fewer than 10,000 children, and they are removed from their homes at rates higher than we see in our most populous counties.

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Teen Driving: Steering Families in the Right Directions

By Ashley Tollefson, Medical Student, University of Minnesota Medical School; and Samantha Gerhardson, Medical Student, University of Minnesota Duluth Medical School

Motor vehicle collisions are the number one killer of teens and young adults in the country, causing 23 percent of deaths among 10- to 24-year-olds, according to the CDC. Although the number of 16- to 17-year old drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes continues to decrease, Andrew Kiragu, MD, medical director of the PICU at HCMC, asserts that the number of teen crashes remains a significant concern in our communities.

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AAP Calling on Pediatricians to Promote Early Literacy

By Laurel Wills, MD, pediatrician at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

In June of 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a landmark policy statement calling on pediatricians to promote reading aloud to children every day, starting in infancy. The recommendations represent the organization’s first official policy calling on both pediatricians and policy makers to make books available for families, especially for those living in poverty.

Shockingly, children in poverty hear 30 million fewer words than their more financially advantaged peers by age 4. This staggering “opportunity gap” manifests in developmental disparities, seen as early as 18 months of age. The tasks at hand are significant: to address the factors in a child’s early life that influence later achievement gaps; intentionally and efficiently build the capacity and capabilities of parents to be their child’s first teacher; scale it effectively and inexpensively across broad populations; and incorporate it into the ever-tighter time frame of the well-child visit. Fortunately, a solution was developed 25 years ago. Today, it takes a new step forward.

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