The Top Ten Children's Health Stories of 2019
In the final weeks of 2019, we’re looking back at our most popular articles of the year. From supporting safe rooming-in to the benefits of co-regulation, here’s a rundown of the top ten website stories you found most engaging over the past year.
Thank you for reading our articles, liking them and sharing them with your networks. With your help, we’re building a vast community of stakeholders committed to achieving equitable outcomes for all children across the country.
Read on to make sure you didn’t miss out on the stories your peers found most valuable in 2019.
Babies "rooming-in" with mothers after birth not only has the potential to improve health outcomes for moms and babies, but it is a critical strategy for closing equity gaps in breastfeeding and, in turn, equity gaps in maternal and infant health. Here, three experts offer advice on keeping moms and babies together safely so that both can benefit from this critical practice.
Before children learn how to make a friend or resolve a conflict, they need to develop the capacity to self-regulate their emotions. Here, Gerard Costa, PhD, the founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University, explains why pediatric health professionals need to talk to families about co-regulation. (Hint, he also offers a resource for inspiring those conversations).
Health is about more than health care. That's why North Carolina is developing a system that connects individuals with resources to address social, economic and environmental barriers to their health—such as housing, food insecurity, and transportation. Learn how they're improving health outcomes by putting funding and policy efforts into addressing social determinants of health.
Hospitals on a national initiative to improve safe sleep recently came together and shared successes and lessons-learned. Here, find their highest-rated strategies for driving meaningful change, all of which reflect early successes in their work. Hospitals seeking to improve safe sleep education can refer to this list as a place to start and guide for gaining quick wins.
Fathers play a vital role in supporting children's health and development, beginning in the prenatal period and continuing through early childhood and adolescence. Too often though, fathers face barriers that get in the way of their involvement. In this article, NICHQ President Scott Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, describes strategies to empower fathers, ideas to support systems-change, and insights on leveraging two-generation approaches.
With rising opioid addiction rates, increasingly high numbers of babies are being born with NAS. Centering NAS care on the mother-child relationship has powerful potential for improving infant health outcomes, empowering mothers as caregivers, and supporting a holistic continuum of care. Here, Matthew Grossman, MD, expands on the benefits of a mother-centered approach for treating NAS.
Families in rural communities across the country face unique barriers to supporting their children’s developmental health and well-being. In this article, learn how community coalitions in Alaska are connecting families to needed supports and services so more rural children can start school ready to succeed.
Universal developmental screenings can help identify children at risk for developmental delays so they can reach their full potential. An effective screening process relies on successful referrals though—without a referral, families can never access the supports the child may need. Here, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, provides five steps to build a referral process that works.
In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we’ve taken time with Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, an internationally and nationally recognized expert on breastfeeding nutrition, education and policy. Here, she shares how harnessing successes, addressing bias and breaking down barriers that prevent equity can help us pursue sustainable improvements in the years ahead.
Experts from the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Postpartum Support Charleston analyze the impact of maternal depression on children and families, and describe concrete steps health professionals can take to ensure that more mothers are screened and referred to support and resources. Read the article.
What children’s health innovation stories have you read lately? Share them with us @NICHQ on Twitter!
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Chiagbanwe Enwere, NICHQ Project Analyst
As a member of NICHQ's Data Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE) team, NICHQ Project Analyst Chiagbanwe Enwere brings a unique data and equity perspective to the New York State Maternal and Child Health Collaboratives project
MCH Lead Poisoning Toolkit: Lessons on Using Data for Improvement
The Maternal and Child Environmental Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (MCEH CoIIN), a national initiative led by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs developed the MCH Lead Poisoning Toolkit to share innovative practices and methods that nine different state teams tested out to improve access to systems and services that address the needs for pregnant women, infants, children, and families that are exposed to lead. NICHQ provided quality improvement expertise and technical assistance for the MCEH CoIIN—offering state teams guidance on using data and measurement to determine where improvements have been made and areas that still require change. Read tips and take-aways from the three-year CoIIN for data collection and using data for Improvement.
Navigating Well-Child Visits and Vaccinations during COVID-19
Well-child visits and recommended vaccinations are essential, ensuring children stay healthy and are protected from preventable diseases and illnesses such as measles, whooping cough, and seasonal flu. But, as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, data shows that fewer childhood vaccinations have been given and many children have fallen behind on their scheduled appointments. Healthcare professionals should utilize the following strategies to work with parents and caregivers to get their children caught up on missed appointments and recommended vaccinations.
Exploring a Nonbinary Approach to Health
NICHQ is not abandoning the traditional use of the terms “mother” and “maternal.” We are embracing the inclusive language of “birthing person/people” across our work. A move toward inclusive language does not force us to stop using language that so many people identify with; at its core, inclusion is about creating more space for one another. We are taking care to expand the use of these terms in our communications, on our website, in our resources, and eventually, in all our projects.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Stacey C. Penny
With NICHQ's Rare As One Network Workstream Facilitation Initiative at a halfway point, Senior Project Director Stacey C. Penny, MSW, MPH shares an inside look at one of NICHQ's most collaborative projects.
Are Screens Making our Children’s Eyes Worse?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, children of all ages were spending more screen time than ever before on cellphones, tablets, and laptops. Prolonged periods of time staring at a screen that may be too big, too bright, or too close to our eyes can cause eye fatigue or even lead to dry eye, a chronic eye condition common in older adults. With eye conditions becoming more prominent in children, it's important for health professionals to encourage healthy screen viewing habits and support children’s eye health in the digital age.