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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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Recently released data from the CDC shows children on Medicaid are going to the ER at rates higher than uninsured kids or those on private insurance, and often for reasons having little to do with medical emergencies. And that can mean higher costs for the public health system.

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A study on vicarious trauma found lasting impacts on the mental health of some children whose family was involved in the manhunt for Boston marathon bomber.

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The 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book reminds us of how much progress we've made in 25 years to assure that children grow up healthy and cared for. But there is still much work to be done.

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A bill that would have required warning labels on sugary beverages died in the California legislature. Meanwhile, evidence continues to link such drinks to chronic diseases.

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A new review published this week marshals further evidence that childhood vaccines are not associated with autism or leukemia. Meanwhile, pertussis and measles outbreaks have been on the rise, partly owing to parents choosing to not have their kids vaccinated.

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It's well-known that toxic stress and childhood adversity can lead to poorer health. But sobering new research focusing on the tips of chromosomes finds that a child’s experience of traumatic, violent family events can impact kids at the most basic cellular levels.

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A quirk in the Affordable Care Act may leave an estimated half-million children without access to affordable health coverage, and that number could grow. The glitch in the law could be easily fixed by the president or Congress, but despite recent efforts, the problem persists.

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The media cycle seems perpetually filled with reports of violence perpetrated against or by young people. But there are some encouraging trends in the data on violence and abuse against young people. Researchers just aren't sure how to explain the gains.

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Awareness of just how damaging toxic stress and childhood adversity can be for a child's health and life prospects is growing. While leading experts call for bold new treatments, what approaches are already showing promise in reversing the effects on young bodies and minds?

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New research has found that bullies had better health profiles than those not involved in bullying at all, while victims displayed less healthy blood readings over time. The study adds to a growing body of knowledge on how adversity and stress become embedded in our bodies and shape health.

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