chinese doctors day 2021 © Springer Nature

Professor Shu is the chairman of Children’s Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine; Director of National Clinical Research Center for Child Health; Dean of Zhejiang University College of Pediatric; Vice-chairman of Pediatric surgery Society of the Chinese Medical Association (CMA); Standing Committee member of the Pediatric Surgeon Society of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association (CDA). He has been engaged in pediatric congenital heart surgery, pediatric surgical perioperative management and birth defects prevention and treatment work for more than 30 years.

World Journal of Pediatrics (WJP) is the first pediatric journal in English in the mainland of China, which publishes peer-reviewed original papers, reviews and perspectives focusing on clinical practice and research in pediatrics. The journal is particularly interested in interdisciplinary studies including, but not limited to, medical, radiological, pathological, biochemical, preventive healthcare, pharmacology, and stomatology. The journal is abstracted/indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded, Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Medline, SCOPUS, EMBASE, etc.

What are the social responsibilities of a pediatric journal during the pandemic?

As a platform for global communication among pediatricians and researchers, the main social responsibilities of World Journal of Pediatrics (WJP) are to publish high-quality contents in pediatrics, to promote education to health care providers and to provide readers with timely and accurate information.

During the pandemic WJP published scientific, accurate and accessible information about various aspects of COVID-19 in children and adolescents in a timely manner, including the first study in the world regarding the clinical features of severe pediatric patients with COVID-19. These articles are highly relevant to clinical practice and have provided first-hand diagnosis and treatment guidance to pediatricians and researchers. All the COVID-19-related articles are freely available to the world. Meanwhile, WJP continued to create more high-quality, easy-to-understand resources via social media, such as official accounts of WeChat in China and Twitter (@World_J_Pediatr) throughout the world.

What are the adverse effects of COVID-19 on children?

The number of pediatric cases with COVID-19 appears to be much smaller than that of adults, accounting for only 2.1–7.8% of all confirmed cases. The clinical manifestations in children with COVID-19 are generally mild or asymptomatic, although certain pediatric cases with underlying health conditions may suffer severe infection. There is increasing recognition of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, which shares many features with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

The pandemic and its consequent economic, health, and educational disruptions have affected all aspects of youths’ lives. Quarantine and separation from parents, increased risks of child abuse and neglect, and financially and psychologically stressed family members have led to negative mental outcomes in children and adolescents. Notably, children from less developed countries are more vulnerable to be affected by the pandemic. There is a need to ameliorate children’s and adolescents’ access to mental health support services.

What development plan do you have for the journal? What special issues/collection or events will be available this year?

With the increasing international influence and academic status of WJP, the Journal is expected to transition from a bimonthly journal to a monthly journal in 2022, with the aim of publishing more cutting-edge researches in pediatrics. The following list includes the journal’s multiple future directions: (1) continuing to provide a broad academic platform for the international exchange of pediatric achievements; (2) bringing attention to the health and care needs of the vulnerable pediatric population; and (3) raising concerns about healthcare issues of the pediatric population in less developed countries.

During the pandemic the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on heart injury in pediatric cases has attracted great attention among pediatric researchers. We will highly welcome contributions on new developments in this aspect of pediatric health with fast and high-quality peer review and rapid publication upon acceptance. In addition, we are planning special issues regarding two interdisciplinary subjects, “Pediatric neurogenetics: from the basic science to the clinic” and “Prolonged effects of COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents.” The related articles are expected to be published in WJP in 2022.

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