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Selections from Journal Watch Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Copyright © 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

The Ten Top Pediatric Stories of 2005

▸ Each year, new discoveries improve our practices, and old beliefs are challenged. The 2005 pediatric literature offered so many interesting research findings that it was difficult to choose the top ten. We covered a significant number of new therapeutics, immunizations, and drug warnings in 2005. In fact, we even introduced you to a promising new vaccine early in the year, only to report months later a possible complication of that same vaccine. Our editors continually search for important insights that will help you in your practices.

Top stories:

  1. Maternal Fever and Neural Tube Defects. Maternal hyperthermia (temperature >38.5°C or >101.3°F) in the first trimester of pregnancy increases the risk for neural tube defects. Women should avoid soaking in hot tubs during this important time in embryogenesis.

  2. Meningococcal Vaccine: A Step in the Right Direction and Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine: Proceed, but with Caution. Wow! First, last spring we recommended a promising new conjugate vaccine for all 11- and 12-year-olds and high school and college freshmen. Then, in the fall, we reported concern following a report of five cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in immunized adolescents. Proceed with caution, but don’t give up on the new vaccine yet!

  3. Oral Sex Doesn’t Mean Safe Sex. Herpes simplex virus can be transmitted through saliva. Many adolescents view oral sex as “safe”; that’s true for avoiding pregnancy risk, but not for avoiding …

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