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Child Life News: July 2022

Latest Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Updated AAP guidance continues to recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months, with complementary foods introduced around six months. Under the new policy, the AAP now supports continued breastfeeding until two years or beyond, as mutually desired by mother and child.

AAP Updates Safe Sleep Recommendations: Back is Best
An updated AAP policy statement and technical report on reducing the risk of sleep-related infant deaths reiterate previous safe sleep recommendations and offer some new guidance. The AAP continues to emphasize the importance of placing infants on their backs in an uncluttered crib next to the parents’ bed in a nonsmoking environment. The policy and technical report also address the use of noninclined sleep surfaces, short-term emergency sleep locations, substance use, home cardiorespiratory monitors, and tummy time.

Recommended Terminology for Substance Use Disorders in the Care of Children, Adolescents, Young Adults, and Families
This new policy statement aims to end the use of harmful and stigmatizing language that has been used to portray substance use disorders by advocating for the use of medically accurate, person-first terminology. The policy statement contains a summary of problematic language to be avoided, paired with the recommended appropriate language and an explanation.

American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for the Elimination of Race-Based Medicine
This new policy statement observes that race is a historically derived social construct that has no place as a biologic proxy. Over the years, the medical field has inaccurately applied race correction or race adjustment factors in its work, resulting in differential approaches to disease management and disparate clinical outcomes.

Child Life Resources Related to Current Events:

How Should Decision-Sharing Roles Be Considered in Adolescent Gender Surgeries?
Frances Grimstad, MD, MS, and Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, MPH, MSSW, LICSW
American Medical Association Journal of Ethics

The nascent field of gender-affirming surgery (GAS) for binary and nonbinary transgender adolescents is growing rapidly, and the optimal use of shared decision making (SDM)—including who should be involved, to what extent, and for which parts of the decision—is still evolving. Participants include the adolescent (whose goals might center on aesthetics and functionality), the surgeon (who might focus more on minimizing complications), the referring clinician (whose participation is mandated by present standards of care), and the caregiver (whose participation is required for patients below the age of consent). This article argues that effective, ethical SDM in adolescent GAS care requires a different conceptualization of roles than might be expected in other situations and should be a longitudinal experience rather than a singular event.

Qualitative Metasummary: Parents Seeking Support Related to Their Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Children
Tee R. Tyler, Boglarka S. Huddleston, Taylor N. Barton, et. al
International Journal of Transgender Health

Parents seek support on behalf of their transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) children. Previous qualitative studies explore the types of support parents seek inside and outside of healthcare settings. Healthcare providers often remain unprepared to effectively provide gender-affirming services to TGNC children and their accompanying parents and may benefit from learning about the support-seeking experiences of parents with TGNC children.

This paper summarizes qualitative research studies that address the topic of parents seeking support on behalf of their TGNC children. This report was produced for healthcare providers to review to enhance gender-affirming services for parents and TGNC children. These findings provide information healthcare providers can use to inform their practice. These findings also highlight the importance of providers working collaboratively with parents when serving TGNC children. This article concludes with practical tips for providers.

How to Talk with Teens About Roe v. Wade 
Ophelia's Place

"You might feel unsure about how to talk about abortion rights with your teen. Maybe you think they’re too young to discuss such a long-battled topic. Perhaps your own political and social beliefs counter with what you think their opinions are. However, listening, learning with, and talking about access to health services with your young person is more important than ever. Don’t shy away from discussing abortion rights with young people because..."

Motherhood, Abortion, and the Medicalization of Poverty
Michelle Oberman
The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics

This article considers the impact of laws and policies that determine who experiences unplanned pregnancy, who has abortions, and how economic status shapes one's response to unplanned pregnancy. There is a well-documented correlation between abortion and poverty: poor women have more abortions than do their richer sisters. Equally well-documented is the correlation between unplanned pregnancy and poverty. Finally, the high cost of motherhood for poor women and their offspring manifests in disproportionately high lifelong rates of poverty, ill-health and mortality for offspring and mothers, alike. Read together, these factors offer a vivid illustration of the medicalization of poverty.

Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
American Psychological Association

"As a parent, you may be struggling with how to talk with your children about a community shooting at a school or elsewhere. It is important to remember that children look to their parents to make them feel safe. This is true no matter what ages your children are, be they toddlers, adolescents or even young adults."

Child Life Profession