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Senator Klobuchar's Message to Pediatricians

If you missed MNAAP's annual dinner on June 13, you can still hear Senator Klobuchar's message to pediatricians, which includes an update on national policies affecting children's health and a call to action.

"The work you're doing is so important," Klobuchar said, "from immunizations, to childhood obesity, to bullying prevention, to health care homes, to newborn screening, to marriage equality, to child poverty." 



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MNAAP Celebrates Implementation of Newborn Screening Law, Effective August 1

Over the summer Governor Mark Dayton thanked newborn screening advocates in person and reaffirmed his commitment to protect this life-saving program in a ceremonial bill signing. The newborn screening restoration law went into effect August 1.

Governor Dayton with newborn screening advocates

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Save the Date: May 1, 2015 Hot Topics in Pediatrics Conference

Plan to join us on Friday, May 1, 2015 for MNAAP's Hot Topics in Pediatrics conference and annual meeting in the Twin Cities. Once again, MNAAP is planning daytime continuing medical education sessions followed by its annual dinner that evening. 


This is a great opportunity for general pediatricians and pediatric specialists to learn more about key child public health issues -- and best practices for addressing them both inside and outside the clinic. 


This year more than 150 people from across the state attended the event. In addition to local pediatric experts, guest speakers included U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, State Representative Kim Norton, and Minnesota Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger, MD, MSPH.


Make connections, get your questions answered, and leave with tools and resources to improve your practice. Details and registration coming soon!


View notes/presentations from the 2014 conference


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Sep 22 Forum: How the Science of Early Childhood is Transforming Pediatric Practice and Health

What do we know about the science and research around early childhood development, especially in ages birth to three? How does that knowledge impact our practice and the responsibility we have to our patients and families? 


Minnesota pediatricians are invited to attend an early childhood CME forum sponsored by Children's Hospitals and Clinics on September 22 from 5-8 p.m. There is no charge to attend and dinner will be provided.


Participants will learn best practices on using a collective impact model to provide the best developmental screening, assessments, and referral services to our youngest children. 


Several pediatric colleagues from across health systems will be weighing in as panelists, including Anne Edwards, MD, FAAP, Park Nicollet; Marilyn Peitso, MD, FAAP, CentraCare; Marjorie Hogan, MD, FAAP, HCMC; and Mike Troy, PhD, LP, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.


Following the panel, there will be a Q&A opportunity so that all in attendance can share ideas and best practices on overcoming barriers to success that pediatricians can take back to their own clinical settings.


Space is limited. Please RSVP to Jessica Block at or 612.813.6685 by Sept. 15 to reserve your spot. 

More info


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Early Education Scholarships Available

Early learning scholarships are available to increase access to high-quality childhood education programs for three-and four-year old children with the highest needs in Minnesota. Priority is based on family income, child poverty and geographic region.


MinneMinds has provided some preliminary results of the second year of such scholarship funding:


At the Northside Achievement Zone, kindergarten readiness scores increased from 39 percent to 59 percent


10 percent of the scholarships went to siblings of the 3- and 4 year-olds


72 percent of the children receiving scholarships were children of color


More info about early learning scholarships
More info about Parent Aware (online tool to find high quality child care and early education programs)

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Physical Punishment: Where Does AAP Stand? How Can Pediatricians Provide Guidance on Positive Parenting?

Corporal punishment of children has been the subject of increased media attention and conversation in recent days.  As a result, many parents and even some pediatricians may have questions about acceptable forms of discipline and punishment.


As an advocate for children's health and wellbeing, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP) stands by the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) policy statement on effective discipline, which strongly discourages the use of corporal punishment, including spanking, hitting or whipping, as a way to manage unwanted behavior in children.


AAP defines corporal punishment as "the application of some form of physical pain, from slapping the hand of a identifiable causes of child abuse, such as beatings, scaldings and burnings."


Because the method and severity of such punishments can vary greatly, AAP believes they should not be used to discipline children of any age. Not only can they result in physical harm, they teach that violence is an acceptable way to deal with challenging situations and can undermine a child's sense of trust, security and self-worth.


Pediatricians and other health care providers are required to immediately report suspected instances of physical abuse to the police or local county or tribal services agency. The state defines physical abuse as "physical injury or threat of harm or substantial injury, inflicted by a caregiver upon a child other than by accidental means. The impact of physical abuse can range from minor bruises to severe internal injuries and death. Physical abuse does not include reasonable and moderate physical discipline of a child that does not result in an injury."


In essence, physical punishments that leave bruises, lasting hand marks, wounds, cuts, burns or other injuries constitute child abuse in Minnesota. 


In 2012, over 18,000 reports of child maltreatment (neglect, physical, mental or sexual abuse) involving more than 25,000 children were addressed by the child protection system, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. More than 10 percent of alleged cases are reported by health care providers.


MNAAP believes discipline is an important and necessary part of parenting. However, it should be viewed as a tool to teach children, not harm them. Though physical punishment may immediately stop unwanted behavior, most pediatric experts agree that it is less useful in the long-term and is associated with increased aggression and other negative outcomes in children. 


Parents should be encouraged to employ discipline strategies that do not involve violence, such as natural consequences, timeouts, revocation of privileges, and reward-based systems, with the ultimate goal of helping children achieve independence, self-control and caring for others."


Resources for pediatricians


AAP Policy Statement: Guidance for Effective Discipline


Department of Human Services: Information and Guidelines for Reporting Child Abuse


Bob Sege, MD, FAAP September 17 interview on RadioMD 


Resources for parents 


What About Punishment?


How to Respond with Effective Discipline


Disciplining Your Child


The Disobedient Child


Where We Stand: Spanking

Positive Discipline: A Guide for Parents


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Back to School, Back to Fall Sports

Pre-participation physical examination
There are over 7.6 million high school athletes in the United States, and at some point each one of them is going to need a pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE). However, recent data show that many pediatricians are not comfortable with the PPE process and not aware of AAP resources in performing these evaluations. Below are several important tools that may be helpful, including links to the currently recommended PPE forms on the AAP's website, as well as further information on the PPE monograph. 

2-minute screening musculoskeletal exam
AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness
PPE monograph

Sample note: return to learning after concussions
CDC fact booklet for physicians on concussions 

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Watch the PBS Documentary "Vaccines: Calling the Shots" online

A new documentary, which aired for the first time Wednesday evening, takes viewers around the world to track disease epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out. Pediatricians are encouraged to watch the documentary, which is expected to be viewed by thousands of parents across the country.


More info/watch online

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