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Bubble Wrap PLUS – January 2024


Can’t get enough of Bubble Wrap? The Bubble Wrap Plus is a monthly paediatric Journal Club reading list from Professor Jaan Toelen (University Hospitals Leuven) and Dr Anke Raaijmakers (Sydney Children’s Hospital). 

This comprehensive list is developed from 34 journals, including major and subspecialty paediatric journals. We suggest this list can help you discover relevant or interesting articles for your local journal club or allow you to keep a finger on the pulse of paediatric research.

In this journal list, we highlight several studies relevant to our everyday paediatric practice. 

The first one highlights the impact of the recent pandemic on children. This retrospective cohort study in JAMA Pediatrics looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socioemotional development of infants and toddlers. Data from the Nurse-Family Partnership program involving 60,171 families were analysed across four cohorts, including pre-pandemic and three pandemic cohorts (from July 2022 to October 2023).

The pandemic cohorts were more likely to score highly on positive screening for social-emotional and general developmental milestones (ASQ:SE-2, ASQ-3). This suggests that those children who experienced their first year of life in the COVID-19 pandemic had delays in socioemotional development, even after adjusting for demographic factors.

The second paper is a study that suggests a shorter duration of antibiotic treatment for some common infections may reduce antimicrobial resistance, treatment costs, and adverse effects. This randomized controlled trial, published in Pediatrics, looked at the efficacy of a 5-day course of amoxicillin-clavulanate compared to the standard 10-day regimen in treating febrile urinary tract infections (fUTI) in paediatric patients aged 3m-5y. The recurrence rate of fUTI, within 30 days was lower in the 5-day group (2.8%) compared to the 10-day group (14.3%). The shorter 5-day course of antibiotics was non-inferior to the traditional 10-day treatment. 

A randomized clinical trial, the Pediatric Adenotonsillectomy Trial for Snoring (PATS), evaluated adenotonsillectomies in children with snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). They enrolled 459 children aged 3 to 12.9 years. Adenotonsillectomy did not significantly improve executive function or attention at 12 months. However, children who had an operation experienced improvements in behaviour, symptoms, and quality of life and had lower blood pressure. While adenotonsillectomy may not directly impact cognitive functions, it can benefit other aspects of health and well-being in children with mild sleep-disordered breathing.

The fourth study, published in Pediatrics, looked at the evolving epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children in the USA over two decades of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) use. Data collected from 2002 to 2021 revealed a 72% decline in IPD incidence among children (<18 years), with continued reductions after the transition from PCV7 to PCV13.

During the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021), the incidence of IPD reached its lowest level in 20 years. The study also highlighted changes in prevalent serotypes, resistance patterns, and the need for ongoing surveillance to identify emerging serotypes and develop new vaccines. These findings underscore the positive impact of PCVs in reducing invasive pneumococcal disease among children.

Our final highlighted study looked at the impact of preschool-onset major depressive disorder (PO-MDD, diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 6 years old) as a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviours in children from early childhood to preadolescence. It involved 137 children with PO-MDD and 53 controls. Children with PO-MDD were significantly more likely to have suicidal ideation in preadolescence compared to their peers. Even when controlling for external factors, PO-MDD remained a strong predictive risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviours. The study suggests the importance of increased screening, safety planning, and early interventions for children with PO-MDD to address the risk of future psychiatric morbidity and mortality.

You will find the list is broken down into four sections:

1.Reviews and opinion articles

Use of POCUS for the assessment of dehydration in pediatric patients-a narrative review.

Musolino AM, et al. Eur J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 22. 

Lung ultrasound for the sick child: less harm and more information than a radiograph.

Chidini G, et al. Eur J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 21. 

Childhood community-acquired pneumonia.

Meyer Sauteur PM. Eur J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 19. 

Point-of-care ultrasound for non-vascular invasive procedures in critically ill neonates and children: current status and future perspectives.

Pawlowski TW, et al. Eur J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 12

Pediatric Sepsis Diagnosis, Management, and Sub-phenotypes.

Weiss SL, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 12:e2023062967. 

Suicide and Suicide Risk in Adolescents.

Hua LL, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 11:e2023064800. 

Responding to the ‘crowd’ of voices and opinions in the paediatric clinical space: an ethics perspective.

Delany C, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Nov 24:archdischild-2023-326154. 

2.Original clinical studies

Socioemotional Development of Infants and Toddlers During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Kuehn LM, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2023 Dec 26:e235684. 

Are We Ready for Short Antibiotic Courses for Febrile Urinary Tract Infections in Young Children?

Woods CR, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 26:e2023063979. 

Short Oral Antibiotic Therapy for Pediatric Febrile Urinary Tract Infections: A Randomized Trial.

Montini G, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 26:e2023062598. 

Adenotonsillectomy for Snoring and Mild Sleep Apnea in Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Redline S, et al. JAMA. 2023 Dec 5;330(21):2084-2095. 

Adenotonsillectomy or Watchful Waiting for Pediatric Sleep-Disordered Breathing.

Hazkani I, et al. JAMA. 2023 Dec 5;330(21):2057-2058. 

Invasive Pneumococcal Disease After 2 Decades of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Use.

Yildirim I, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 13:e2023063039. 

Preschool-Onset Major Depressive Disorder as a Strong Predictor of Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors Into Preadolescence.

Hennefield L, et al. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2023 Dec 7:S0890-8567(23)02236-0. 

Who Responds to an Adaptive Intervention for Adolescents With Anorexia Nervosa Being Treated With Family-Based Treatment? Outcomes From a Randomized Clinical Trial.

Lock JD, et al. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2023 Dec 18:S0890-8567(23)02253-0. 

Two-Year Autism Risk Screening and 3-Year Developmental Outcomes in Very Preterm Infants.

Shuster CL, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2023 Dec 26:e235727. 

Zonulin as a Biomarker for the Development of Celiac Disease.

DaFonte TM, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 8;153(1):e2023063050. 

Defining treatment success in children with surgical conditions.

Rivero-Arias O, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Dec 22:archdischild-2023-326156. 

High Cardiac Troponin Levels in Infants with Acute SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Prospective Comparative study.

Lo Vecchio A, et al..J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 20:113876. 

Hemoglobin Threshold for Blood Transfusion in Young Children Hospitalized with Iron Deficiency Anemia.

Rose Sun DL, et al. J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 20:113878

Breastfeeding and Once-Daily Small-Volume Formula Supplementation to Prevent Infant Growth Impairment.

Flaherman VJ, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 8:e2023062228. 

Pediatric Cluster Headache Case Series: Symptomatic Cases and the Migraine Relationship.

Eberhard SW, et al. J Child Neurol. 2023 Dec 25:8830738231220415. 

Smartphone use for Paediatric Calculations in Emergencies (SPaCE).

Evans J, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Nov 28:archdischild-2023-326180. 

Bloodstream Infections in Children Hospitalized for Influenza, the Canadian Immunization Monitoring Program Active (IMPACT).

Modler J, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2023 Dec 1. 

Parents’ understanding of medication at discharge and potential harm in children with medical complexity.

Selzer A, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Nov 23:archdischild-2022-325119. 

Cannabis Exposure and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Related to Placental Function.

Metz TD, et al. JAMA. 2023 Dec 12;330(22):2191-2199

Neonatal Survival After Serial Amnioinfusions for Bilateral Renal Agenesis: The Renal Anhydramnios Fetal Therapy Trial.

Miller JL, et al. JAMA. 2023 Dec 5;330(21):2096-2105. 

Treatment Delay of Febrile Urinary Tract Infections Among Infants With Respiratory Symptoms.

Iio K, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2023 Dec 22. 

Randomised crossover study on pulse oximeter readings from different sensors in very preterm infants.

Maiwald CA, et al. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2023 Dec 21:fetalneonatal-2023-325961. 

Point-of-care ultrasound as a diagnostic tool in respiratory assessment in awake paediatric patients: a comparative study.

Edelman J, et al. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Dec 14:archdischild-2023-325975. 

Vaccine-preventable Pediatric Acute Bacterial Meningitis in France: A Time Series Analysis of a 19-Year Prospective National Surveillance Network.

Rybak A, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2024 Jan 1;43(1):74-83. 

Pharmacologic Restraint Use During Mental Health Admissions to Children’s Hospitals.Masserano B, et al. Pediatrics. 2023 Dec 11:e2023062784.

4.Case reports

12-Year-old Boy With Fever, Headache and Vomiting.

Atay Ünal N, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2024 Jan 1;43(1):88-90. 

A Rare Case of Endocarditis in a Teenager.

Duval , et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2023 Dec 14. 

Sunflower Syndrome.

Sinha R, et al. J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 11:113871. 

Vulvar Erosions in a Child: A Case of Vulvar Impetigo.

Rodríguez Sánchez B, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2023 Dec 6. 

The Challenge of a Strange Rash: Dermatitis Artefacta.Pasa Morgan MA, et al. J Pediatr. 2023 Dec 20:113881.

If we have missed out on something useful or you think other articles are absolutely worth sharing, please add them in the comments!


  • Anke Raaijmakers is a paediatric nephrologist, currently working as clinician and researcher in Sydney (Sydney Children’s Hospital, Australia). She did her training in Belgium and Australia and previously worked as general paediatrician and paediatric nephrologist in Antwerp (ZNA Jan Palfijn, Belgium). She is passionate about education, teaching, and research and has completed a PhD on health outcomes of preterm infants. Anke strongly believes in the importance of evidence-based medicine, helping to run journal clubs everywhere she works and the BubbleWrapPlus. In her free time, she loves to play hockey and hike with her husband and three kids.


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