The “Big Problems” in Children's Health

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Lynda Young, M.D., (left) and Elizabeth Goodman, M.D. discuss the major health risks children face in the October edition of Physician Focus.

What are the biggest health risks facing children and adolescents today? The C.S. Mott Children Hospital of the University of Michigan Health System has some answers.

For nine years, the hospital has conducted an annual survey of adults about what they think are the “big problems” in children’s health.

It’s hard to argue with the poll results: obesity, bullying, and drug abuse are the top three in the 2015 poll (a repeat of the top three from last year), with child abuse and neglect, smoking and tobacco use, and school violence also included in the top ten.

While the 2015 survey provides insight into what adults and parents think are the major child health problems, the doctors who care for our children tend to have a wider perspective.

To get the physician’s thoughts on the biggest risks children face, the October edition of Physician Focus with the Massachusetts Medical Society features a conversation between two pediatricians - program host Lynda Young, M.D. and guest Elizabeth Goodman, M.D.

Dr. Young is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UMass Medical School and a past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Dr. Goodman is Associate Chief for Community-Based Research at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Bringing their years of experience to the conversation, the doctors discuss the C.S. Mott poll and its results, as well as other risks not represented in the poll.

“It’s not surprising to see these issues listed [in the poll],” says Dr. Goodman. “These are important health issues for today’s children.” From their perspective, however, some of the most serious health risks facing children are those not captured in the poll.

Tune in to our October episode to find out what those risks are and to hear the latest thinking of pediatricians on children’s health. If you’re a parent, or care for children in any capacity, this program provides important information – and may get you thinking differently about the biggest dangers to a child’s health and safety.

Photo: Lynda Young, M.D., (left) and Elizabeth Goodman, M.D. discuss the major health risks children face in the October edition of Physician Focus.