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Children Should Have Equal Opportunities for Health

Many children in the United States fail to reach their full health and developmental potential because of a complex set of social and environmental factors that keep them from opportunities for health and well-being. According to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Health Equity and Children’s Rights,” in the April issue of Pediatrics (published online March 29), pediatricians can address these health disparities in practice. According to the policy statement, eliminating health disparities would make a significant difference in the overall health of children and the adults they will become. The statement establishes four components of health equity for children: children’s rights; social justice; human capital investment; and health-equity ethics. Children who experience multiple compounding risk factors, such as poverty, exposure to substance abuse, homelessness and lack of insurance, are most likely to have their rights ignored. Pediatricians and the AAP can work to ensure that the best interests of children are considered in decisions about how resources are distributed and invested.

3/29/2010 12:00 AM
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