Relieve baby’s pain without drugs. Little things that help during a painful procedure

Key message: if your baby has to have a painful procedure, evidence shows that there are things you can do to minimise their pain, including holding their bare chest to yours, giving a sugar solution or breast milk and allowing them to suck or to breastfeed. Continue reading

Flu, chills and other ills: a wintry round-up of Cochrane evidence

This week it really feels like winter is upon us and infection is the dominant theme in this blog, which gives you a round-up of some new and updated Cochrane reviews on flu vaccination; antibiotics for colds, sore throats and for those having feeding tubes put in;  bringing down your poorly child’s temperature and whether avoiding lactose is helpful when diarrhoea strikes. Continue reading

Exercise and asthma: what does the evidence say?

Some people with asthma find their symptoms are worse when they exercise, or restrict their physical activity for fear that this will be so. Others report that their asthma symptoms are better when they are fit. Several reviews from the Cochrane Airways Group have recently been published on aspects of exercise for people with asthma. Continue reading

Hot off the press: catch this Cochrane evidence!

News desk vintage photo

New and updated Cochrane reviews are now published daily

If your idea of a present is a new or updated Cochrane review then it’s now Christmas every day with the arrival of Publish When Ready here in Cochraneland. In a huge change to the system for publishing reviews and protocols in the Cochrane Library, new arrivals appear daily, throughout the day, instead of once a month. In the time it takes me to make a cup of tea, a new review may have popped into the Library, ready for my consumption. It’s all rather exciting! It’s also rather alarming, as I have the distinct feeling that with such a rapid flow of  evidence I may miss things and fail to shout about stuff that you might like to know about. It may calm down (or I may speed up!) but with the sudden arrival of a very large amount of new evidence I thought I’d give you a bit of a round-up. So here are my picks of the week on surgery, drugs and rock’n’roll, with some talking treatment thrown in. Continue reading

Reducing unintentional injuries in children through parenting programmes

Key message: parenting interventions, particularly with families from disadvantaged populations, are effective in reducing accidental injuries in children and may also improve home safety.

We need to be concerned about injuries. In industrialized countries, injuries are the leading cause of death in childhood. According to UNICEF, they account for 40% of deaths of children between one and fourteen years. In the UK, over 160 children die from injury each year. They necessitate over two million trips to emergency departments and more than 100,000 hospital admissions annually. This is one of many aspects of health where we see inequality, with children from disadvantaged families experiencing higher rates of injury. Continue reading

Children living with pain may be helped by psychological therapies

Key message: Psychological therapies can be helpful in reducing pain in childen and adolescents with chronic and recurrent pain. 

Living with chronic pain is a miserable business. It can be a major cause of disability and distress and affects not only the person themselves but those close to them. Any parent will tell you how upsetting it is to see their child in pain and I was surprised to learn how many children live with it, around 15% to 30%, with around 8% having severe and frequent pain. So what can be done to help them? Continue reading

Can signs and symptoms guide diagnosis and treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in children? A new Cochrane diagnostic accuracy review

Key message: M. pneumoniae cannot be diagnosed reliably in children and adolescents with community-acquired pneumonia based on individual clinical symptoms and signs. Although absence of wheeze is a statistically significant diagnostic indicator, it does not have sufficient diagnostic value to guide empirical macrolide treatment. Chest pain may be a clinically useful indicator but needs further evaluation.

Continue reading