A topic for which I feel extremely strongly is that of research pertaining to children's health. Luckily the NIH is beginning to come around and started a new children's health research initiative and website. They have a wonderful video on the main page that secretly made me get a little teary eyed.
We have neglected the safety and interests of children for long enough. It is time that we make sure that what we do as treatments is safe and effective. We have long assumed that just because it works in adults, it works in children, too. Evidence to the contrary is emerging at an astonishing rate.
From the website are the reasons why we MUST do research in children:
- "Understand the differences in children as they grow and develop.
- Identify the best dose of medicines to prevent harmful effects or under-treatment.
- Produce chewables, liquids or tablets that are easier for children to take.
- Find treatments for problems that occur only in children, like prematurity.
- Find treatments for certain diseases or conditions that occur in both children and adults but which act differently in children and adults, like arthritis or heart disease.
- Understand how medicines are used in and filtered out of the body in children of all ages.
- Find treatments for new or existing diseases to improve the health of children in the future, like vaccine studies that were done years ago help children stay healthier today.
- Treat our children like children, rather than little adults."