A retrospective study was carried out among children admitted to the Pediatric Clinic, Haukeland Hospital, from 1958 until 1986 for accidental poisoning. Drugs was the most frequent poisoning agent (49%), followed by household agents (22%), different agents (20%) and plants/mushrooms (9%). 89% of the children were under five years of age, 57% were boys. 20% stayed more than one day in the hospital. Very serious poisonings involving admission for more than 14 days were most frequently seen after intake of drugs. The number of admissions was doubled from 1966-70 to 1981-85. Most of the increase referred to poisoning from plants, tobacco and hydrocarbon products. The greatest increase was found for admissions lasting less than two days. Most of the potentially serious poisonings in our study were caused by agents that, by American or British law, it would have been illegal to sell without special child-resistant packaging. It is strongly advised that a similar law be passed in Norway.
AIMS: To evaluate whether being born small for gestational age (SGA) was associated with an increased frequency of preschool behavioral problems. STUDY DESIGN: Follow-up study at 5 years of age. SUBJECTS: A population based cohort of 318 term infants who were SGA, defined as having a birthweight less than the 15th percentile for gestational age, and without major handicap such as cerebral palsy or mental retardation, and a random control sample of 307 appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants. OUTCOME MEASURES: The Personality Inventory for Children and the Yale Children's Inventory (completed by the mothers), and child behavior during psychometric testing. RESULTS: Behavior problems was not more common among the SGA children. The results were not confounded by a wide range of parental demographic and child rearing factors, including maternal non-verbal problem solving abilities, child rearing style, and maternal psychological distress. However, the parental factors explained 13% of the variance in a summary score of child behavior compared to 1% explained by SGA vs. AGA status. The SGA children were not more sensitive to the negative impacts of parental risk factors than AGA controls. The study does not address the outcome of severely growth-retarded SGA infants. CONCLUSION: Being born moderately SGA is not a significant risk factor for preschool behavior problems.
During the period from 25 October 1988 to 13 June 1989, 624 (13.9%) of the 4,464 outpatients examined in the pediatric department, Haukeland hospital, had neurological problems. In 1986 730 (19.1%) of the 3,829 patients admitted to the pediatric department of nerological disorders. 41 (11%) of the 374 patients admitted to the department of neonatology in 1986 had disorders of the central nervous system (infections excepted). About 40% of the neurological patients suffered from convulsive disorders. Other groups of disorders were developmental retardation, learning disorders, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, hyperactivity, headache, infections and parainfectious diseases, intracranial tumours, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, chromosomal disorders, metabolic diseases, various syndromes and malformations, neuromuscular disorders, functional symptoms and neonatal neurological problems. The practice of child neurology is timeconsuming. The paediatric neurologist must be acquainted with children's developmental problems and the patterns of neurological symptoms seen in the various age groups. Assembling children with neurological disorders in a small, special department might improve the treatment of these patients considerably.
Executive functions (EFs), seizure-related factors, and school performance were studied in a population-based sample of children with epilepsy (n=117; 71 males, 46 females; mean age 10y 5mo [SD 2y]; range 6y-12y 11mo) and a comparison group (n=124; 71 males, 53 females; mean age 10y 1mo [SD 2y 1mo]; range 6y-12y 11mo). EF, cognitive function, depression, socioeconomic status, and school performance were examined. Patients with epilepsy performed significantly lower than the comparison group on all EF measures except incidental memory. Intellectual dysfunction and depression accounted for 43% of EF problems. All epilepsy syndrome groups (except Rolandic epilepsy) were associated with decreased EF in addition to early epilepsy onset, high seizure frequency, and polytherapy. Patients had more school performance problems than comparison children which were attributed partly to EF difficulties. All aspects of EF were affected in children with epilepsy and all epilepsy syndrome groups, except Rolandic epilepsy, influenced EF negatively. EF problems contributed to patients' school difficulties beyond intellectual dysfunction.
Gender-related differences in the prediction of five year-olds' cognitive abilities from measures of distal environment, proximal environment and infant test scores were examined in a random sample of 93 boys and 90 girls. Distal environmental data included maternal IQ, maternal and paternal education. Proximal environmental data included two variables derived from the Home Screening Questionnaire: the Home Questions and the Toy Checklist. The Bayley MDI was administered at age 13 months, whereas WPPSI-R was used as cognitive outcome measure at age 5 years. The relationship between paternal education and child IQ, and between proximal environmental variables and child IQ was significantly stronger for boys than for girls. The associations between proximal environment and IQ in boys, were accounted for by the distal environmental variables. Bayley MDI correlated significantly higher with girls' IQ compared to boys' IQ. Findings are discussed in terms of parental gender-differentiated socialization processes.
The aim was to evaluate neuropsychological performance and its pre-, and perinatal predictors in low birth weight (LBW) preschool children. A population-based sample of 137 5-year-old children with birth weights less than 2000 g and without major handicaps was compared with a random sample of 152 normal birth weight term controls. Main assessment tools were all subscales from the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Revised, subscales from the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities and tests of manual dexterity and figure copying. The LBW children showed significantly lower mean scores compared to controls on tests of visuo-spatial and visuo-motor abilities, but were comparable to controls in other areas, confounding parental factors were controlled for. 14 of the LBW children, there were signs of maternal chorio-amnionitis. Twelve of these had premature rupture of membranes lasting more than 24 h. These 14 children had a mean performance IQ of 87 (SD 5) compared to 100 (SD 15) for the LBW children without maternal signs of chorio-amnionitis (P = 0.001). Having a small head circumference at birth was a less powerful, but statistically significant predictor of impaired performance. CONCLUSION: Low birth weight is associated with impaired performance on visuo-spatial and visuo-motor tasks. Signs of maternal chorio-amnionitis and a small head circumference at birth may be risk factors for such impairment.
The association between child cognitive abilities and maternal ratings of child externalizing behaviors was investigated in a randomly selected sample of 290 preschool children. Child cognitive abilities were assessed by the WPPSI-R, whereas mothers completed the Yale Children's Inventory for the assessment of child externalizing behaviors. Maternal education, and maternal child-rearing style, as defined by scores on the Child Rearing Practices Report, was significantly related to perceived externalizing child behavior. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that for girls, low child IQ remained a significant predictor of perceived externalizing behavior when effects of maternal education and child-rearing style were controlled for (p
PURPOSE: To study the relationship between seizure-related factors, non-verbal intelligence, and socio-economic status (SES) in a population-based sample of children with epilepsy. METHODS: The latest ILAE International classifications of epileptic seizures and syndromes were used to classify seizure types and epileptic syndromes in all 6-12 year old children (N=198) with epilepsy in Hordaland County, Norway. The children had neuropediatric and EEG examinations. Of the 198 patients, demographic characteristics were collected on 183 who participated in psychological studies including Raven matrices. 126 healthy controls underwent the same testing. Severe non-verbal problems (SNVP) were defined as a Raven score at or
Norwegian populated-based normative data on the Yale Children's Inventory (YCI) were provided for boys. All parents of boys aged 8 through 11 years in the county of Hammerfest received the YCI, and 77% responded. Mean scores on the YCI scales attention, activity, tractability, and fine motor were significantly lower in the Norwegian sample compared to the US normative data. Factor analysis of the 40 scale items yielded factors that corresponded generally well to the YCI scale constructs derived from US samples. We conclude that the scale constructs of the YCI seem to be transferable across these two cultures, but that restandardization is warranted. Further research is needed to establish cut-off values for clinical screening purposes. The Yale Children's Inventory has the potential to become a valuable screening tool for behavioral problems at school-age.