To request the full-text embargoed copies of individual Pediatrics articles, contact Lisa Black at, 630-626-6084, or Emily Rosenbaum at, 630-626-6765, with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Public Affairs. Please do not send e-mails to the AAP Media Mailing box.

All print, broadcast and online journalists who receive the AAP media mailing agree to abide by the embargo and may not publish, post, broadcast or distribute embargoed news releases or details of the embargoed studies before the embargo date and time. Please review the Embargo Policy at

Pediatrics is the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the AAP. The journal’s editorial process is independent of the AAP. Other than official AAP-authored reports, articles published in Pediatrics do not necessarily reflect the policies of the AAP. Please attribute the source as the journal Pediatrics when covering information from this mailing.

Please note: On the day of publication, new articles will be published here: Published Ahead of Print | American Academy of Pediatrics (



The American Academy of Pediatrics in an updated clinical report recommends that universal and routine screening for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) be offered to youth ages 15 and older at least once in a health care setting. The report, “Adolescents and Young Adults: The Pediatrician’s Role in HIV Testing and Pre- and Postexposure HIV Prophylaxis,” published in the January 2022 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 20), notes that the HIV epidemic persists in the United States, despite great progress in treatment and continued efforts to identify people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2018, an estimated 45% of 13- to 24-year-olds living with HIV were undiagnosed, according to research, and youth were also the least likely of any age group to be linked to HIV care in a timely manner. The report updates a 2011 policy statement that called for routine screening to be offered to all adolescents at least once by 16 to 18 years of age in health care settings when the prevalence of HIV in the patient population is more than 0.1%. The clinical report also reflects changes in epidemiology, advances in diagnostic testing, and provides updated recommendations for HIV testing, postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), and new guidance for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in youth at risk of acquiring HIV infection. The report recommends that pediatricians create an environment of confidentiality and tolerance and facilitate open discussion of gender, sexual orientation and behavior, and sexual and reproductive health issues.

[The clinical report is embargoed until 12:01 a.m. Dec. 20, 2021. To request a copy of the embargoed report, contact AAP Public Affairs.]


Media contact: Lisa Black,

American Academy of Pediatrics Bolsters Guidance on Supporting Emotional Health of Children, Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

ITASCA, IL-- The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidance on supporting the emotional and behavioral health needs of children, teens and families to describe new challenges that undercut resilience and demonstrate the urgent need for improving mental health care.

While some initial challenges of the pandemic have eased, such as quarantining and social isolation, families are now coping with the complexities of in-school attendance and impacts of remote schooling. There is also an increasing reliance on social media for communication, the guidance observes.

Additionally, many young people are suffering the loss of a loved one. Recent data show that more than 140,000 U.S. children have experienced the death of a primary or secondary caregiver during the COVID-19 pandemic, with children of color disproportionately impacted.

“These are difficult times, and I know that many people are hurting, even as we enjoy a traditionally festive holiday season,” AAP President Lee Beers, MD, FAAP, said. “Pediatricians are in a great position to help families identify signs and symptoms of stress and offer resources and reassurance. We know your children and can help navigate questions about whether new behaviors or emotions are typical or need more evaluation. We are in this together.”

The "Interim Guidance on Supporting the Emotional and Behavioral Health Needs of Children, Adolescents, and Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic" provides an overview of the most recent research, including the finding that 1 in 4 youth globally are experiencing clinically elevated depression and 1 in 5 are experiencing anxiety.

Experts have noted with alarm the pandemic’s devastating impact on the mental health of children, teens and young people. The AAP, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association recently declared a national mental health crisis among children and teens. Earlier this month, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory calling for a swift and coordinated response to the mental health crisis. On Tuesday, Dr. Beers spoke about the national emergency declaration and the mental health needs of children and adolescents at a congressional briefing.

“We know effective ways to buffer the impact of trauma and stress, and support positive social-emotional development,” Dr. Beers said. “For many, it is very difficult to find and access mental health care that offers this help. We need to improve timely access to evidence-based mental health treatment. This means integrating mental health supports within our primary care offices, school and other settings.”

The numbers of teens arriving at emergency rooms and primary care clinic for behavioral and mental health problems and suicide attempts have increased significantly during the pandemic.

The guidance includes recommendations such as:

· A continued need for pediatricians to integrate emotional and behavioral health into standard care, checking on the wellbeing of both children and caregivers.

· Evaluating for social health determinants that cause additional stress, such as family housing, employment or food insecurities.

· Providing guidance on developing healthy habits, such as balancing time spent on screens with the need for sleep, nutritious food and physical activity, as well as coping mechanisms for dealing with uncertainty.

· Advocating for the mental health of children and adolescents, as highlighted in the AAP-AACAP-CHA Declaration of a National Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Much remains unknown about the impact of interrupted socialization and learning during critical developmental stages. But the guidance notes positive developments, such as schools that have incorporated wellness activities into their daily flow.

“The need for urgent action on a national scale can seem overwhelming, yet we can each help with small acts of kindness and efforts to improve relationships within our own families and communities,” Dr. Beers said. “We have never backed away finding a way forward, even in times of strife. Now is the time to listen to each other, have compassion and work on collective solutions.”

Resources include:

· Dr. Beers describes the national crisis in mental health children and teens are facing today in an interview on the AAP podcast, Pediatrics on Call.

To request an interview, contact AAP Public Affairs.


Media contact: Lisa Black,

The American Academy of Pediatrics Suggests New Year’s Resolutions for Every Age: Make it Fun!

The start of a new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits.

Families can sit down together and pick a few things each person would like to do as New Year’s resolutions. If the thought of “resolutions” sounds overwhelming, encourage kids to think of them as goals -- and make it fun.

“As a pediatrician and mom of three kids, I know how important it is to set healthy goals with kids – and to be realistic about those goals,” said pediatrician Lanre Falusi, MD, FAAP. “Kids also love having something to work toward and to have fun keeping track on sticker charts or getting praise or rewards as they reach these goals, depending on their age.”

For example, if an 8-year-old meets a goal of reading every day for a week, perhaps he gets to pick the family movie during the weekend, Dr. Falusi said. Maybe your preschooler agrees to eat more vegetables by drinking them in smoothies that she and the whole family can enjoy.

Below are some healthy and positive goal-setting ideas to suggest for children, depending on their age. Media outlets are free to share them in print, online or broadcast.


  • I will try hard to clean up my toys by putting them where they belong.

  • I will let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.

  • I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.

  • I will try new foods when I can, especially all different colors of vegetables.

  • I will learn how to help clear the table when I am done eating.

  • I will be friendly to all animals. I will learn how to ask the owners if I can pet their animal first.

  • “I will always hold a grown-up’s hand whenever I cross the street.

  • I will do my best to be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.

  • I will talk with my parent or another adult I trust when I need help or am scared.

Kids, 5 to 12 years old

  • I will drink water every day. I will keep soda and fruit drinks only for special times.

  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I'll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.

  • I will try to find a physical activity ​(like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) or a sport I like and do it at least three times a week.

  • I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses when possible.

  • I will always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.

  • I'll try to be friendly to kids who may have a hard time making friends by talking with them and inviting them to join activities.

  • I will tell an adult about bullying​ that I see or hear about and do what I can to help keep school safe for everyone.

  • I will keep my personal info safe and not share my name, home address, school name or telephone number online. Also, I'll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer or phone without asking my parent if it is okay.

  • I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.

  • I promise that I'll do my best to follow our household rules for video games and internet use.

  • I will try to save time to read for fun.​

Teens, 13 years old and older

  • I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. I will drink sodas​ or fruit drinks only at special times.

  • I will do my best to take care of my body through fun physical activity and eating the right types and amounts of foods.

  • When I have some down time for media, I will try to choose educational, high-quality non-violent TV shows and video games that I enjoy. I will spend only one to two hours each day—at the most—​on these activities. I promise to respect out household rulesfor video games and internet use.

  • I will try to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep that my body needs each night.

  • I will do what I can to help in my community. I will give some of my time to help others, working with community groups or others that help people in need. These activities will make me feel better about myself and my community.

  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find helpful ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking about my problem with a parent or friend.

  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.

  • When I notice my friends are struggling, being bullied or making risky choices, I will look for a trusted adult so that we can attempt to find a way to help.

  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date. I will treat the other person with respect and not force them to do something they do not want to do. I will not use violence​. I will expect to be treated the same way in return.

  • I will resist peer pressure to try cigarettes, e-cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol.

  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.

“Involving kids in the decision-making and making these fun for the whole family can help turn these resolutions into long-lasting habits,” Dr. Falusi said.

More information:

Media outlets are encouraged to share these resolutions online, or in print or broadcast with attribution to AAP. To request an interview with an expert, contact AAP Public Affairs.


The Children and COVID-19: State Data Report, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association is a weekly report that compiles state-by-state data on COVID-19 cases in children. The report found that 164,289 child COVID-19 cases were reported the week ending with Dec. 9, 2021 (7,032,612 to 7,196,901) and children represented 23.6% (164,289/695,385) of the weekly reported cases. COVID cases among children are extremely high: over 164,000 child cases were added the past week, an increase of nearly 24% over the prior week. For the 18th week in a row child COVID-19 cases are above 100,000.

The data is limited because of its reliance on how each state reports its cases. The report is updated here every Monday: Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report


The American Academy of Pediatrics, drawing on data posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is tracking the progress in vaccinating U.S. children under age 18. The report will be updated every Friday here.

As of Dec. 8, 4.9 million U.S. children ages 5-11 have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, representing 18% of 5–11-year-olds.

Among the ages 12-17, about 15.2 million US children and adolescents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, representing 61% of 12–17-year-olds. A total of 12.8 million of US children and adolescents ages 12- 17 are fully vaccinated, representing 51% of 12–17-year-olds.

Child vaccination rates vary substantially across states. AAP recommends that all eligible teens ages 5 and older be vaccinated to prevent COVID-19.

For more information, go to: Children and COVID-19 Vaccination Trends (

Additional resources:

· AAP Policy Statement: COVID-19 Vaccines in Children and Adolescents

· The Science Behind the COVID-19 Vaccine: Parent FAQs -

· Why is it so important for my kids to get caught up on their childhood immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic? -

· Getting Your Child Ready for the COVID-19 Vaccine

· Does the COVID-19 vaccine cause myocarditis? -

· Ask the Pediatrician: When can kids get the COVID vaccine or a booster?

· Ask the Pediatrician: What do I need to know about the COVID vaccine for kids 5-11?

· Ask the Pediatrician: Do college students and teens need a flu shot?


EPISODE 95-- A Mental Health Emergency, Reading's Effects on Social-Emotional Development

In this episode AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP, describes the national crisis in mental health children and teens are facing today. Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, also talk to Keith J. Martin, DO, MS, FAAP, about research in the journal Pediatrics on how reading affects children’s social-emotional development.

For all episodes, go to


Ask the Pediatrician: Do college students and teens need a flu shot?

If you have a college student, urge them to get their flu and COVID shots asap -- before winter break! Dr. Flor Muñoz explains why this is so important now. Go to:

Pediatrics Table of Contents for Dec. 20 Online Publication

AAP Policy Statement: COVID-19 Vaccines in Children and Adolescents (pre-published)

AAP Clinical Report: Adolescents and Young Adults: The Pediatrician’s Role in HIV Testing and Pre- and Postexposure HIV Prophylaxis

Economic Coaching: Addressing Poverty as a Means of Improving Early Child Development

A Coaching Model to Promote Economic Mobility and Child Developmental Outcomes

Pediatrics Table of Contents for Dec. 21 Online Publication

Is Acute Solid Food Aversion a Proxy for COVID-19–Related Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunction?

Practice Facilitation Improves Adolescent Reproductive Health Preventive Services in Primary Care

Pediatrics Table of Contents for Dec. 22 Online Publication

Bridging the Gap Between Educator and Learner: The Role of Psychological Safety in Medical Education

Is Acute Solid Food Aversion a Proxy for COVID-19-related 1 Olfactory and Gustatory Dysfunction?

Pediatrics Table of Contents Dec. 23 Online Publication

No articles are published today.

Pediatrics Table of Contents for Dec. 24 Online Publication

No articles are published today.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For frequent updates on AAP recommendations, Pediatrics studies, AAP in the news, public awareness campaigns, information for parents and more, follow us on Twitter at

For parent-friendly health information from the AAP, visit This award-winning site offers thousands of articles in English and Spanish that can serve as links to include in your stories on children’s health and safety.

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