PEDIATRICIANS: Urged to Discuss Violence During Checkups
Pediatricians should talk to children about anger and guns during office visits and "look for the warning signs of violence," according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the updated guidelines, which will appear in the March issue of Pediatrics, were prompted by recent acts of violence nationwide by young people. Dr. Edward Cox, a member of the academy's Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, said, "This is something that we need to try and start to deal with at very young ages." The recommendations note that along with "performing routine procedures such as measuring height and weight, pediatricians should talk about issues such as gun safety, anger management and gangs," and look for signs that could make a child prone to violence, such as poor self-esteem and depression. Naomi Paiss of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, a lobbying group that helped the academy develop the new violence-prevention framework, said the new guidelines will not prevent every tragedy, but may help to prevent some (Tanner, 3/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.