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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Looming wave of evictions, housing instability poses threat to health

Originally published on The Hour. Dr. Megan Sandel, an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, said the pattern of evictions often follow the historic trends of disinvestment in communities from redlining,…
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Nutritional assistance program needed to treat increasing food insecurity among children and their families

Originally published on Medical Xpress. A new perspective published in Pediatrics warns of the detrimental consequences food insecurity can have on children and families. Written by pediatric health experts from Children's HealthWatch,…
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Blog by Miao Gong, Intern at Children’s HealthWatch

I’m 7 years old, walking hand-in-hand with my grandpa going to buy groceries for the week. It’s a hot summer day in Chicago and I know it’s going to rain later because the humidity was making grandpa’s joints ache and my stray hairs…
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SNAP Is Medicine for Food Insecurity

As we awoke this month to another dispiriting report of the numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections and deaths, a new set of horrifying statistics hit the airwaves. By the end of April 2020, 2 in 5 households with children…
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Pandemic unemployment assistance necessary to maintain nation's health

Originally published on The Hill. The $600 weekly Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has expired and is gone until Congress acts. Opponents of continuing the PUA cite a fictional entitlement myth, just like Reagan’s welfare queen —…
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Children's HealthWatch Submits Testimony on MA's Economic Development Bill Negotiations

On August 19th, Children HealthWatch submitted testimony to the MA Legislature Conference Committee working on the Economic Development bill. As the Conference Committee considers the reconciliation of H.4887 and S.2874, “An Act enabling partnerships…

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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