AI Shows Promise in Accurately Identifying Infants with Low Risk of Serious Bacterial Infection

Artificial intelligence, or “supervised machine learning,” could help identify which well-appearing infants with fever, who are 60 days old or younger, are at low risk for a serious bacterial infection, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Accurate risk determination could reduce unnecessary lumbar puncture, antibiotics and hospitalizations for these infants, as well as decreasing parental anxiety.

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Experts Question Need to Wait Days Between Introducing New Solid Foods to Infants

The current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) call for introducing to infants one single-ingredient food at a time and waiting three to five days to observe for food allergy before introducing another new food. However, the long waiting period might be too long, given that food allergy becomes apparent within minutes to a few hours after eating a new food. A recent survey of pediatricians, published in JAMA Network Open, found significant variability in their recommendations to parents about solid food introduction, which calls into question the relevance of the current guidelines.

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Infants Introduced Early to Solid Foods Show Gut Bacteria Changes that May Portend Future Health Risks

Infants who were started on solid foods at or before three months of age showed changes in the levels of gut bacteria and bacterial byproducts, called short-chain fatty acids, measured in their stool samples, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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