Improving children’s health on the front lines of care
Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America.

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Our children are in trouble if we don't pass Biden's child allowance

Originally published on The Hill. Many of the pandemic’s effects are widely known — the lives lost, the businesses that have shut their doors, the families that are going hungry, the women who are being forced out of the job market, and…
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Thousands Wait In Lines At Food Pantries. They Could Be Shopping At Grocery Stores

Originally published on GBH. A growing number of people in Massachusetts are accessing SNAP benefits. Between March and June of last year, households enrolled in SNAP grew by 19% over pre-pandemic rates, according to the Department…

Children’s HealthWatch Statement on Biden's Recent Executive Orders

Children’s HealthWatch, a pediatric research and policy network on the frontlines of pediatric care, applauds recent actions from the Biden-Harris Administration. With over 20 years of research investigating the health impact of economic conditions…

For good health outcomes, we need good housing incomes

Originally published on The Boston Globe. As primary care physicians, we are accustomed to receiving hard news from our patients. A recent message came in the form of a text message, a string of crying emojis, from a patient who had already…

Children’s HealthWatch Statement on the January 6th Capitol Hill Attack

The deeply disturbing January 6th domestic terrorist attack on the nation's Capitol defies moral and legal principles and threatens the health of our democracy, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. As we grapple with COVID-19’s…
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Founder Dr. Deborah Frank honored by Massachusetts Medical Society with its Special Award for Excellence in Medical Service

Originally published on The Massachusetts Medical Society. WALTHAM - Dr. Deborah Frank, director of the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center and professor of child health and well-being in the department of pediatrics at…

Children's HealthWatch Submits a Comment in Opposition to a Proposed Federal Rule That Would Rollback Nutrition Standards of School Meals

On December 23rd, Children HealthWatch submitted a comment in response to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Proposed Rule, “Restoration of Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Flexibilities” published…
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A First Look at Preliminary Children’s HealthWatch COVID-19 Survey Data

High Levels of Household Food Insecurity Persist among Families in Boston, Massachusetts during the COVID-19 Pandemic Key Takeaways In Metro Boston, rates of household food insecurity have persisted at high levels among Children’s HealthWatch…

Our Policy Focus Areas

Children’s HealthWatch research and policy analysis specifically focuses on the child health and developmental impacts of economic hardships with a particular focus on food insecurity, unstable housing, health care hardships and inability to afford adequate household energy.

  • Consistent access to food for all family members is crucial for ensuring children are healthy. Food and nutrition assistance programs are an essential cornerstone in supporting the health and well-being of low-income families.

  • Stable housing supports healthy growth and development among young children, and means families are not behind on rent, moving frequently, doubled up, overcrowded, or homeless. Policies that create affordable housing options that provide access to safe, stable housing help ensure young children and their families can thrive and be successful in life.

  • Maintaining consistent utility services so homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer is critical for children’s health and safety. Energy supports protect families from the harmful health effects of having their utilities shut off.

  • Health Care Hardships

    When families are forced to choose between paying for health care, such as medical care and prescriptions, and other basic needs such as food, rent, child care, or utility bills, that decision can have an effect on the health and wellbeing of young children. Providing supports necessary to care for children, especially those with special health care needs, is crucial for improving child health.

  • Alleviating economic hardships for families with young children will require comprehensive policy solutions including improvements to nutrition assistance programs, increasing access to affordable housing, providing energy assistance, making work pay through reducing cliff effects and increasing  and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, providing affordable child care to all children, and supporting the health and development of all children.


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