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Children's Health Matters

Children's Health Matters is a column that shares the latest reporting, research, commentary and ideas on pediatric health and child development; prevention models to reduce health disparities for ill children and children born into poverty; links between maternal and children’s health; and broader trends in children's health and well-being.

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While states such as Texas and Florida have repeatedly rejected efforts to expand Medicaid in the first place, California is on the verge of expanding public health coverage to include undocumented children. But will they be able to find access to care in an already crowded Medicaid system?

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As teens age out of pediatric care, there's often a lag that can stretch on for years before they enter the fold of adult primary care. For young adults with chronic illnesses, that gap poses real risks. A recent study outlines the scope of the problem, even as progress on the issue remains stalled.

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The privilege that has allowed parents to refuse immunizations for their kids stems not from economic or educational status — it springs from the privilege of not having seen the horrific diseases that ravaged U.S. children just two generations ago, and continue to do so worldwide.

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Children consume a bigger proportion of their daily calories from added sugars than adults, and the concerns go beyond nutrition. New research suggests that fructose can activate the brain's reward regions and generate hunger and cravings for other high-calorie foods.

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It's easy for the headlines on health stories to go way beyond what the study itself actually supports. That happened this week in coverage of new research on how physically active preschoolers are. It serves as a good reminder to acknowledge any given study's limitations.

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SF Chronicle health reporter Erin Allday really didn't want to cover an appearance by the discredited scientist Andrew Wakefield, but her editors sent her anyway. Here she shares how she approached the assignment, dodged the topic's potential pitfalls, and ended up with a well-received A1 story.

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New data show that teens and young adults in the ER for an assault injury were 40 percent more likely than their peers to be involved in gun violence over the next two years. That makes such ER visits a big opportunity for those working to interrupt the cycle of youth gun violence.

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Laura Starecheski recently spoke to Reporting on Health about how she reported her NPR series on childhood adversity and trauma. In the second part of our Q&A, Starecheski explains how she found innovative programs to feature and why maps can be such a powerful explanatory tool.

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Laura Starecheski's recent NPR series on childhood adversity and trauma is an essential listen for those interested in how childhood events can shape long-term health. Starecheski recently spoke to Reporting on Health about how she reported the stories and what she learned along the way.

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The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years. While there are no easy solutions, programs that focus on the whole family have shown positive results in changing both behaviors and health measures.



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