July 27, 2018

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigates current school practices for lead testing and remediation in drinking water.

In the GAO’s stratified, random sample of 549 school districts in the U.S., 43% of districts surveyed indicated they had tested for lead in school drinking water. Of the school districts that tested, 37% found elevated lead levels. School districts undertook a variety of actions to remediate lead in school drinking water, including replacing fixtures, permanently removing fixtures from service, flushing and installing filters.

The report also details existing state-level efforts to require schools to test for lead in drinking water or provide school districts with funding or other support for testing and remediation. The GAO looked at existing guidance from the EPA and how familiar school districts around the country are with these guidelines.

The report detailed seven recommendations for the federal government, including providing...

July 9, 2018

A physician-led team at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has built a screening tool for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in the electronic health record (EHR). The screener loads automatically as a best practice alert for children 6 months through 17 years of age. It repeats at 90-day intervals, so most children are "screened" more than once per year. The question asks about usual SSB consumption frequency, and response choices are standardized ranging from "Never" up to "4 or more per day."

The bar graph shows the frequency of SSB/100% fruit juice consumption in last month as reported in EHR for 22,626 pediatric patients at Wake Forest Baptist. Click to read more about the implementation and uptake of the screener. The link between EHR-reported SSB consumption and child weight status is the next focus for the research team.

Caregivers of children who screen “high,” either consuming more than one serving of fruit juice or any reported amount of sugary drinks per day, receive ed...

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