AAP making progress on addressing high-priority resolutions
AAP leaders adopted 75 resolutions at the 2018 Annual Leadership Forum and prioritized
the top 10 for urgent action by the Board of Directors. Following is an update on
the status of these high-priority resolutions. The full text of the top 10 resolutions
can be found at http://bit.ly/2sPCfz2.
After the tragedy in Parkland, Fla., President Donald Trump and other policymakers
recommended arming teachers to prevent future school shootings. The administration
also announced the creation of a federal commission on school safety comprised of
the secretaries of Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and the
U.S. attorney general.
The Academy submitted a letter to the commission offering the expertise of AAP members
on the effects of gun violence on children’s health and well-being, including mental
health, feeling safe in schools, injury and violence prevention, the influence of
media, and pediatric emergency medicine. The commission is expected to release a report
this summer, followed by public stakeholder meetings, in which the Academy will seek
The AAP federal advocacy team also will continue to oppose federal legislation that
seeks to provide funds to arm educators.
To facilitate access to these resources, a centralized location will be created on
the AAP website. The Academy also will continue to partner with other national organizations
to enhance training and educational efforts for pediatricians and to advocate at the
community, state and federal levels for access to evidence-based mental health services.
AAP chapters are advocating for extreme risk protection orders (also known as “red
flag” laws) that allow the temporary removal of a firearm from the environment of
a person at risk of harming him- or herself or someone else. Three states have passed
red flag laws this year, and one enacted an executive order instituting such a law.
The AAP Committee on Substance Use and Prevention has a collection of marijuana resources
available at www.aap.org/marijuana. The committee plans to collaborate with the AAP Committee on State Government Affairs
on future website enhancements.
AAP state advocacy also has a resource on marijuana legalization that includes the
Academy’s position and a map showing which states have legalized recreational marijuana,
The AAP Council on Children with Disabilities (COCWD) and Section on Developmental
and Behavioral Pediatrics (SODBP) are combining two clinical reports into one document
titled “Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children with Autism Spectrum
Disorder.” The report will outline evidence supporting Applied Behavior Analysis as
well as other interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It also
will provide recommendations that support the elimination of disparities in access
to care for children with ASD.
After the revised report is published, the COCWD and SODBP will collaborate with numerous
AAP groups to disseminate recommendations to pediatricians, chapters, families, public
and private payers, and policymakers to advocate for appropriate benefits coverage
and payment for autism therapy.
The Board of Directors recently approved a recommendation to revise the AAP bylaws
to grant candidate members the right to vote in the national AAP election. AAP members
can vote on the referendum question during the election from Nov. 2 to Dec. 2.
The Academy is a leading advocate for vaccine access programs, including the Vaccines
for Children program, Section 317 immunization program, the Prevention and Public
Health Fund and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine programs. Historically,
the Academy has supported efforts to expand universal vaccination programs through
advocacy and policy. However, recognizing that adequate payment to clinics is required
to support a robust vaccine delivery system, the Academy monitors how such programs
might impact practices financially with changes to vaccine purchase and funding mechanisms.
The Academy has long advocated for safe storage of guns in its policy Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population. The policy states that the absence of guns from children’s homes is the most reliable
and effective way to prevent firearm-related injuries. However, if parents choose
to have guns in the home, they should store firearms unloaded and locked, with the
ammunition locked separately. The policy also calls for physicians to counsel families
about firearm safety, including safe storage. See article at http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/06/21/ppguns062118.
Reproductive and sexual health care for adolescents and young adults is among the
top priorities of the AAP Committee on Adolescence (COA). AAP policy statements on
contraception, emergency contraception and pregnancy prevention include a strong advocacy component for making contraception more accessible and
affordable. COA will continue to work with the AAP federal and state advocacy teams
on advocating for over-the-counter access to contraceptives and will continue to partner
with other national organizations on advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels.
The AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine is finalizing two policy statements:
Assessment and Management of Acute Pain in Infants, Children, and Adolescents and Care of Pediatric Patients with Chronic Pain.