Non-FDA-Reviewed Imported European Formula Use Among Parents in Urban Pediatric Private Practice
In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned consumers over the increasing use of imported infant formulas. The purpose of this study was to assess the usage of imported European infant formula among parents in a large urban private practice. An anonymous survey was distributed at well-child appointments to a convenience sample of parents at an urban private pediatric practice from November 2017 to March 2018. Of the 750 eligible respondents, 552 (74%) completed the survey. Of the parents using formula, 20% were using imported European infant formulas. The most commonly used formula was Holle (33%), and 72% were acquired from web-based third-party vendors. Parents chose to use these formulas because they believed that European formulas contained better ingredients. Only 8% of parents received information about European infant formula from their pediatricians. Pediatricians need to be aware of these formulas and their risks to educate families on the use and safety of these formulas.
Comparison of Imported European and US Infant Formulas: Labeling, Nutrient and Safety Concerns
OBJECTIVE:Infant formula in the United States is highly regulated. The AAP has reported concerns over the use of non-FDA registered imported infant formulas. The purpose of this study is to identify Internet purchased and recommended imported European infant formulas and compare them to FDA labeling and nutrient requirements. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:We searched "European infant formulas" in Google and DuckDuckGo to identify vendors of European formulas and blogs discussing these formulas to determine the most frequently purchased and recommended brands. We then compared the identified European formulas' label and listed nutrients to FDA labeling and nutrient requirements. RESULTS:Thirteen of eighteen vendors responded to our inquiry of their top selling formula and 17 blogs were reviewed. Sixteen formulas were identified. None met all FDA label requirements. Listed nutrients fell within FDA requirements in 15 of 16 formulas. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Non- FDA registered imported European formulas do not meet all FDA labeling requirements. Although linoleic acid, which was not listed on all of the European formulas, could not be evaluated, all formulas except one met the remaining FDA nutrient requirements. These European infant formulas are being imported into the US via third party vendors and are not FDA regulated, limiting the notable consumer protections set by the FDA that ensure infant formula safety. Pediatric gastroenterologists and health care providers need to understand the composition, labelling and lack of FDA regulation and safety concerns of these formulas in order to better counsel parents.
Updates in Infant Nutrition
Cytomegalovirus can make immune thrombocytopenic purpura refractory [Case Report]
Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is characterized by decreased platelet numbers secondary to platelet destruction and reduced platelet production. Even if the ITP persists, it typically responds to 'ITP-specific' therapies, such as intravenous immunoglobulin, steroids, intravenous anti-D, and splenectomy. Several reports, including our previous study, have implicated cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the pathogenesis of infrequent cases of ITP that were not severe in nature. A recent study from China suggested that CMV is the aetiology of some cases of acute ITP of childhood and may require different treatment. We report two adult and two paediatric patients with refractory, severe, symptomatic thrombocytopenia, who were diagnosed with ITP and found to have active CMV infection. Their presentations included fever, transaminitis, neutropenia, and atypical lymphocytosis, but in particular, treatment-refractory, severe ITP. Treatment with steroids appeared to worsen the CMV-ITP. All four cases showed improvement in platelet counts within two weeks of starting ganciclovir and cytogam and tapering steroids. Based on the four patients described here, we believe that, in certain cases, CMV infection will result in symptomatic, severe, refractory ITP, which may be indistinguishable from typical ITP. Eradication of CMV with antiviral therapy improved the ITP in these cases.
TV guides: exposure of hospitalized children to inappropriate programming
OBJECTIVE: To determine if the policy recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regarding television viewing are heeded in an inpatient pediatric setting. SETTING: An inner-city academic medical center. PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive sample of 199 pediatric inpatients. METHODS: An investigator visited all pediatric inpatient rooms. Observations were made when the patient was present in the room, alert, and awake. The main outcome measure was exposure to inappropriate programming. In accordance with AAP guidelines, we used the established television rating system to code programs as appropriate versus inappropriate for children. We classified G- and PG-rated shows that centered on adult themes or that were not informational, educational, and nonviolent as inappropriate. We tested parental demographics, age of child, time of day, and presence of an adult in the room as possible predictors. RESULTS: Ninety-one percent of the patients had the television turned on. Of these, 53% were tuned to inappropriate programming. Exposure to inappropriate programming did not differ by parental ethnicity, language, or education. Exposure was highest for infants and toddlers as compared with children or adolescents (74% vs 40% vs 52%, P =.001); it did not vary by time of day. Exposure was higher when an adult was present in the room (58% vs 42%, P =.05); this effect was most pronounced for adolescents (68% vs 41%, P =.05). CONCLUSIONS: Despite AAP recommendations, hospitalized children are exposed to inappropriate programming, especially when parents are present in the room. Hospital stays may be a unique opportunity to educate parents about the AAP recommendations for television viewing by children.