Posts tagged with "American Academy of Pediatrics"

Judge upholds New York City’s vaccine mandate for educators

September 30, 2021

A vaccine mandate for more than 150,000 teachers, custodians, school aides, cafeteria workers and other school staff in New York City can proceed as planned, a federal appeals panel ruled on Monday evening, September 27—a decision that reverses the temporary block put on it over the past weekend, reports U.S. News.

Unions representing the city’s teachers and principals had been urging Mayor Bill deBlasio to delay the vaccine requirement as concerns mounted that the country’s largest public school system could find itself with a shortage of 10,000 teachers and staff overnight.

While more than 90% of teachers and 97% of principals are already vaccinated, the mandate was expected to cause staffing shortages in a handful of schools where a significant portion of school staff remain unvaccinated—especially in and around Staten Island.

A judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit granted an injunction on a temporary basis this past weekend and referred the case to a three-judge panel to review on an expedited timeline. Their decision wasn’t expected until Wednesday.

The New York Times first reported the panel’s decision to support the mandate.

It’s not the first time the vaccine requirement has been challenged. Indeed, a state Supreme Court judge batted down a separate lawsuit filed by a group of smaller unions representing school employees—ruling last week that state and federal courts have historically upheld vaccination requirements.

The challenges to the city’s vaccine mandate are just the latest legal skirmish over COVID-19 safety protocols playing out in states and school districts across the country. And they come at a time when the Biden Administration is leaning on vaccines as a way to allow schools to stay open while the highly contagious Delta variant causes transmission and hospitalization rates to spike, including among school-age children.

The latest data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association show that nearly 29% of the cases recorded in the week leading up to September 2 were contracted by children. And after declining in early summer, cases in children have been increasing exponentially, with over half a million cases added in the last two weeks.

Research contact: @usnews

Hit or miss? AAP strengthens ban on spanking children

November 6, 2018

In an updated policy statement on corporal punishment, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new evidence on November 5 that spanking harms children—and even may affect normal brain development.

Indeed, updated research has shown that striking a child—or yelling at or shaming them—can elevate stress hormones and lead to changes in the brain’s architecture. Harsh verbal abuse is also linked to mental health problems in preteens and adolescents.

This week, at the AAP’s 2018 National Conference, the professional group is strengthening its ban on corporal punishment with an updated policy statement, “Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children.”

Pediatricians long have believed that corporal punishment—or the use of spanking as a disciplinary tool—increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control. The policy statement, to be published in the December 2018 issue of Pediatrics also addresses the harm associated with verbal punishment, such as shaming or humiliation.

“The good news is, fewer parents support the use of spanking than … in the past,” said AAP member Dr. Robert D. Sege, an author of the policy statement. “Yet corporal punishment remains legal in many states, despite evidence that it harms kids—not only physically and mentally, but in how they perform at school and how they interact with other children.”

He noted that, in one study, young children who were spanked more than twice a month at age three were more aggressive at age five. Those same children at age nine still exhibited negative behaviors and lower receptive vocabulary scores, according to the research.

“It’s best to begin with the premise of rewarding positive behavior,” said Dr. Benjamin S. Siegel, co-author of the policy statement. “Parents can set up rules and expectations in advance. The key is to be consistent in following through with them.”

The policy statement provides educational resources where physicians and parents can learn healthy forms of discipline, such as limit setting, redirecting and setting expectations.

“There’s no benefit to spanking,” Dr. Sege said. “We know that children grow and develop better with positive role modeling and by setting healthy limits. We can do better.”

Research contact: @BobSegeMD