1. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement on poverty and child health addresses the impact on children, methods to reduce poverty, and mitigate its effects on children.
Policy Rundown: It is well-established that childhood poverty is associated with significant detrimental health effects. Children living in poverty are more likely to suffer from inattention, defiance, unemployment, chronic disease, and psychiatric disorders. Poverty affects 37% of children at some point in their lifetime and disproportionately affects children of color. Programs and policies, such as early childhood education, benefits programs, and healthcare access have been shown to both decrease poverty and mitigate its effects. The AAP reports on existing government and insurance incentives and recommends their continuance and creation to increase care coordination and family-centered medical homes. Public policy advocacy for early childhood education, benefits programs, housing and healthcare access is also recommended. Individual physicians should foster a welcoming family-centered medical home (including programs such as Reach Out and Read or Triple P), screen for risk factors, such as food insecurity, and assist families in identifying and maximizing protective factors, such as cohesion, spirituality, humor and support networks. Physicians and practices should also partner with community and public programs to assist with unmet basic needs, mental health and education, including home-visit programs.
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