It has been well described that poverty is associated with poor health, starting from time in the womb all the way into adulthood. Poor children have higher rates of infant mortality, low birth weight, food insecurity, and unintentional injuries. They also have a higher incidence and worse severity of chronic diseases such as asthma and obesity. As these children grow older, they are at higher risk of poor educational achievement, teen pregnancy, and inability to escape poverty. Finally, most poor children unfortunately grow into poor adults with higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, depression, substance abuse, and ultimately shorter life expectancy. Lately, a growing body of evidence has shown that toxic stress experienced by developing children fundamentally changes their biology – altering brain development, the immune system, hormones, and metabolism in ways that predispose to illness. As pediatricians, we should understand that addressing the effect of poverty on our patients’ health requires more than seeing families individually in the office. It will require our voices in broader social institutions. (more…)
The Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids (ACE) Act was first introduced in the House in June 2014 by Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla) to improve care for children with complex medical needs on Medicaid. Recently, it has been introduced to the Senate on January 29th, 2015 and re-introduced in the House on January 27th, 2015 with bipartisan support. These children have multiple diagnoses and often require multiple specialists which is why we need to support this legislation so that they can have a place to call their medical home.
Electronic or e-cigarettes, also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or personal vaporizers (PV), are an increasingly popular method of nicotine ingestion. E-cigarette sales are estimated to top $2 billion in 2014. (more…)