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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COD's Dialogue Over Distance Presents 'Housing Is Health Care'

Originally published on Medscape. According to a recent study published in the journal "Pediatrics," crowded housing, frequent relocations and homelessness exacerbate children's pre-existing health conditions and the family's overall stress…
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Pediatricians: How to Help Families Get the New Child Allowance

Originally published on Medscape. With the stroke of a pen, President Biden signed into law a provision in the American Rescue Plan that will lift nearly 10 million children above or closer to the poverty line this year. The expansion…
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Ayanna Pressley, Elizabeth Warren to Headline Forum on Antiracism as Health Policy

Originally published on BU Today. Today’s panel discussion will be moderated by Kimberly Atkins (COM’98, LAW’98), Boston Globe senior opinion writer and member of the paper’s editorial board, and will feature Stephanie Ettinger…
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Screening Discordance and Characteristics of Patients With Housing-Related Social Risks

Introduction Healthcare systems are increasingly interested in identifying patients’ housing-related risks, but minimal information exists to inform screening question selection. The primary study aim is to evaluate discordance among 5…
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Children’s HealthWatch Statement on ARPA and Public Charge

Children’s HealthWatch applauds the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act and celebrates the withdrawal of federal appeals and subsequent vacatur of the harmful Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2019 public charge rule. Together,…
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Investing in low-income households boosts future

Originally published on The Baltimore Sun.
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Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough: We Need to Stop Deluding Ourselves About Racism

This past weekend has seen numerous protests, vigils and calls for action in response to the recent attacks on Asian Americans and immigrants,  including the tragic killings of eight people, six of them Asian women, in three Atlanta spas.…
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Children’s HealthWatch Statement on Recent Attacks on the AAPI Community

Children’s HealthWatch strongly condemns attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – including the recent tragic killings of eight people, six of them Asian women, in Atlanta.  These recent attacks on Asian Americans and immigrants…

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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