Archives of Disease in Childhood (ADC) is an international peer-reviewed journal specialising in child health, covering the perinatal period through to adolescence. As an official journal of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, ADC provides paediatricians with the most recent, relevant and original research reports, commentaries, clinical and policy reviews, and education.

Every 3 months ADC publishes a Drug Therapy section which looks at different aspects of paediatric clinical pharmacology. Listed below are the five most cited articles in 2018 - 2019:

  • Developing a paediatric drug formulary for the Netherlands
  • Systematic review of the toxicity of short-course oral corticosteroids in children
  • Variation in paediatric hospital antibiotic guidelines in Europe
  • C-reactive protein point-of-care testing in acutely ill children: a mixed methods study in primary care
  • An increase in accident and emergency presentations for adverse events following immunisation after introduction of the group B meningococcal vaccine: an observational study

Read these and others here.
Members of the ESDPPP are encouraged to submit to the ADC Drug Therapy section. All articles across the pharmacology spectrum, from basic science (pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics), to randomised controlled trials, formulations, drug safety/pharmacovigilance, pharmacogenomics, pharmaco-epidemiology, and ethics/legal issues, will be considered if they have relevance to paediatrics.
ADC also publishes a drug therapy update section in the education section, that features reviews on many areas of therapeutics in paediatrics.

The next ESDPPP conference will be taking place in in Liverpool, UK, in 2021, and all abstracts accepted will be published in a supplement in ADC following the meeting.
Members who wish to consider writing a review article should contact Dan Hawcutt first ( 

Current articles from the ADC Journal

In the end, the only surprise was the lack of altercation, confrontation, heated exchange and counterpoint. Her approach taciturn yet deferential, his initial resistance to sharing the code melting like butter on San Antonio July tarmac in minutes. She could, in fact, almost sense contrition. ‘Why had no one asked before?’ nagged at first, but once she had the answers, she only looked forward. Age of consent There is consensus that a prerequisite for recruitment to paediatric research requires both parental consent and child assent, consent protecting and assent acknowledging autonomy respectively. This philosophy is now deeply embedded after a welcome, rapid transition from lip service to essential provided there is capacity and understanding. Whether decisions around participation would be endorsed by non-capacious children enrolled into an RCT as adults (or whose mothers were enrolled during pregnancy) is unknown In this context. Nike Franke and colleagues in Auckland,...
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Child mask mandates for COVID-19: a systematic review
Background Mask mandates for children during the COVID-19 pandemic varied in different locations. A risk-benefit analysis of this intervention has not yet been performed. In this study, we performed a systematic review to assess research on the effectiveness of mask wearing in children. Methods We performed database searches up to February 2023. The studies were screened by title and abstract, and included studies were further screened as full-text references. A risk-of-bias analysis was performed by two independent reviewers and adjudicated by a third reviewer. Results We screened 597 studies and included 22 in the final analysis. There were no randomised controlled trials in children assessing the benefits of mask wearing to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection or transmission. The six observational studies reporting an association between child masking and lower infection rate or antibody seropositivity had critical (n=5) or serious (n=1) risk of bias; all six were potentially confounded by important differences between masked and unmasked groups and two were shown to have non-significant results when reanalysed. Sixteen other observational studies found no association between mask wearing and infection or transmission. Conclusions Real-world effectiveness of child mask mandates against SARS-CoV-2 transmission or infection has not been demonstrated with high-quality evidence. The current body of scientific data does not support masking children for protection against COVID-19.
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Epidemiology of Robin sequence: geographical variation in the UK/Ireland
Introduction Pierre Robin sequence (PRS) is a rare congenital malformation sequence characterised by micrognathia, glossoptosis and upper airway obstruction, often in association with a wide U-shaped cleft palate.1 The aetiology of non-syndromic PRS (nsPRS) remains uncertain; however, non-isolated PRS can present as part of a wider syndromic diagnosis1 (syndromic PRS (sPRS)). PRS is reported to have a prevalence of ~1/8000 to 1/14000 live births.1 2 A recent study by Wright et al (ADC), which used dual-source case ascertainment and active surveillance methods, estimated a PRS prevalence of 1:5246 live births.1 This is significantly higher than previous estimates, which may have been miscalculated.1 Importantly, this study also identified a striking geographical variation in prevalence estimates, which were lowest in England and Wales (1/5789), higher in Ireland (1/4635) and highest in Scotland (1/2692).1 These findings are...
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Anticipatory declarations for vaccination of the newborn
Earlier this year, a National Health Service Trust applied for anticipatory declarations relating to an unborn child.1 C was 37 weeks pregnant, HIV positive for over 20 years and had refused antiretroviral treatment during this pregnancy. The obstetricians were concerned that the newborn could be HIV positive. C was due to have elective caesarean section the following day. The application intended to secure the court’s authority to administer antiretroviral treatment to the newborn baby within 4 hours of birth and for 28 days thereafter. Justice Hayden was told that C had only once received antiretroviral therapy; in 1999 in Romania. She was convinced by her experiences that she was normal and that her baby would not be infected. She was worried that the therapy would harm her child. On multiple occasions, she had attended hospital over the last few months following offers of antiretroviral treatment during the...
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