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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EDUARDO OCHOA: Prioritize health

Originally published on Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. While the four walls of my clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital have felt more virtual due to telemedicine visits, the stress on the parents of my young patients is palpable.…
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Homelessness, Children, and COVID-19: A Looming Crisis

This pandemic has magnified the vulnerability of housing insecure and homeless families. We encourage health care providers to investigate how local and state policies are affecting these children and families. Pediatricians can speak up for…
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Our food system will collapse without federal assistance

Originally published on The Boston Globe. In Massachusetts, a worker making minimum wage would need to log 80 hours a week just to afford a two-bedroom apartment, let alone heat, medical bills, and childcare, leaving little to nothing left…
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Children’s HealthWatch’s Letter On COVID-19 Federal Response Negotiations

On July 30th, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a letter on COVID-19 federal response negotiations to Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer. As those who care for the health of America’s…
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These Mothers Are Fighting for Their Families by Occupying Vacant Homes

Originally published on Rewire News. Moms 4 Housing has framed their fight for housing as a human right; their claim to secure and affordable housing is shaped through their identity as mothers with children in their care. Their demand…
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The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: Building on Success for Healthy Families

Key Takeaways The EITC and CTC are two successful federal tax credits for workers with low and moderate incomes that boost family financial resources and lift families out of poverty. Research shows that expansions of these working-family…
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Children’s HealthWatch’s Testimony To Support Massachusetts Bill H.4878/S.2831: “An Act To Guarantee Housing Stability During The COVID-19 Emergency And Recovery”

On July 28th, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a written testimony to strongly support Massachusetts Bill H.4878/S.2831: “An Act to guarantee housing stability during the COVID-19 emergency and recovery”. This unprecedented crisis requires…
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Children’s HealthWatch’s Testimony To Support Massachusetts Bill: "Lift Kids Out of Deep Poverty (House 102, Senate 36)"

On July 21st, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a written testimony to strongly support Massachusetts Bill: "Lift Kids Out of Deep Poverty (House 102, Senate 36)". House 102 and Senate 36 would raise grants by 10% each year until they reach…
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Five New Studies to Probe Pandemic’s Impact on Vulnerable Urban Populations

Originally published on The Brink. How is COVID-19 impacting Boston’s young families? Megan Sandel, BU School of Medicine (MED) associate professor of pediatrics and School of Public Health (SPH) associate professor of environmental health,…

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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