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Concern has been expressed that intensive gymnastic training in children might inhibit growth and maturation. A study in Melbourne, Australia (Journal of Pediatrics2000;137:510–6) of 31 10 year old gymnasts and 50 controls showed the gymnasts to be shorter (−0.5 SD), because they had shorter legs, but their growth over 18 months of observation was the same as the controls. Perhaps children with short legs are more likely to take up gymnastics.

 Abdominal inflammatory pseudotumours are rare and often mistaken for malignant tumours. In Los Angeles (Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2000;35:1635–7), a 6 year old girl was thought to have a pelvic sarcoma and a 14 year old boy had surgery after a diagnosis of acute appendicitis and was found to have a 9 cm × 5 cm mass. Both had biopsies showing inflammatory pseudotumour and responded to treatment with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

 In considering the effect of diarrhoea on the growth of children in developing countries it may be important to distinguish between diarrhoea with and without the passage of blood (dysentery or non-dysentery diarrhoea). In rural Bangladesh (International Journal of Epidemiology2000;29:916–21) gain in height and weight in children under 5 years was significantly slower after bloody diarrhoea than after diarrhoea without blood.

 A study in Mexico City (Pediatrics2000;106:1028–30) has not shown cisapride to be dangerous. Electrocardiograms were recorded on 63 children …

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