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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Food Insecurity, Health, and Development in Children Under Age Four Years

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Food insecurity and pediatric obesity affect young children. We abstract examine how food insecurity relates to obesity, underweight, stunting, health, and development among children, 4 years of age. METHODS: Caregivers…

How tax credits could help fight poverty, income inequality for families in Massachusetts

Originally published on Mass Live, The Springfield Republican. Massachusetts is a tale of two economies. While some enjoy the vast wealth in our state, many families live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet. Despite more than…

Healthy children and families require strong roots to grow

A home where children are able to grow, learn, and play is at the root of health for young children. Like a tree seedling, a child’s health needs a stable location, supportive environment, and access to vital resources to thrive. This means…

Want to Effectively End Hunger in America? Dr. Kofi D. Essel Says We Must First Take on Racial and Economic Root Causes.

Originally posted on Across the U.S., more than 40 million Americans live in households that struggle against hunger, with poverty and racial inequities often being root causes. FRAC recently spoke with Dr. Kofi Essel, Community…

Alarming Challenges Faced by Homeless Children

Originally posted on The number of homeless children in the United States has grown in the last decade. More than 2.5 million children are homeless in the United States each year. That means one in every 30 children is homeless.…

5 things you should know about Trump's latest legal immigration crackdown

Originally posted on ABC News. The Trump administration's latest change to federal immigration policy is expected to stop more immigrants from legally settling in the U.S. The new protocol formally rolls out Wednesday. Here's what you…

Children's HealthWatch's Public Statement Regarding the Public Charge Rule

As pediatricians, public health researchers, and child health and policy experts, Children's HealthWatch opposes in the strongest terms changes to the public charge rule made by the Department of Homeland Security. These changes will endanger…

Home Is Where Health Is: A Stable, Affordable Home Is a Prescription for Good Health

As Children’s HealthWatch regularly demonstrates to policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public: a stable, affordable home is a prescription for good health. Unfortunately, that prescription is out of reach for tens of millions of people. At…

Health and stable housing: Taking preventative medicine to the next level

Originally published on The Boston Globe. Facing skyrocketing rents, the phrase “worried sick” is taking on a literal meaning for low-income families who struggle month to month to keep a roof over their head. That’s why the announcement…

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. To read our SNAP/Farm Bill 2018 Legislative Priorities, click here.

  • 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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