The Top Children's Health Stories of 2018

Multiple images of childrenWith 2018 drawing to a close, we’re taking stock of the stories you found most engaging over the past year. From the opioid epidemic to mandated reporting to bedsharing and safe sleep, this year’s top stories tackle tough issues and are filled with passionate voices seeking to drive change in children’s health systems.

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 2018.

Bedsharing, Breastfeeding and Babies Dying. A Conversation Worth Having
Bedsharing can lead to longer breastfeeding duration. It also leads to more infant deaths. These opposing facts represent a major dilemma for those working to improve infant health. What does it mean when strategies that put babies in danger also support behaviors that improve outcomes? In this article, Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, FAAP, a pediatrician and safe sleep and breastfeeding expert, provides some answers. 

Taking a Two-Generation Approach to Children’s Health
Even before birth, children rely on their parents to learn about and cultivate the habits and skills that will support their future health and well-being. Because of this, when a parent struggles, children’s health may suffer. In this interview with NICHQ CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, we discuss why a two-generation approach is essential for children’s health, and how we can use it to drive systems-level change.

Treating the Opioid Epidemic as a Children’s Health Crisis
NICHQ's Chief Health Officer, Elizabeth Coté, MD, MPA, spent two years working to reduce opioid prescriptions in a rural Maine community. In this article, she shares her experience working with a young mother whose addiction to opioids stems from a cycle of poverty and drug abuse. Her story illustrates how opioids are damaging the health of some of our country’s most vulnerable families, leaving children as the youngest casualties of a nationwide epidemic.

Creating a Safe Sleep City
Citywide campaigns can be catalysts for improving safe sleep practices and infant health outcomes. In this article, find out what strategies Mississippi is leveraging to mobilize efforts across Jackson. From doctors to store owners to restaurateurs, the whole city is coming together to keep Jackson’s babies safe.

Our Systems Meant to Help Are Hurting Black Families
When does mandated reporting hurt rather than improve children’s health outcomes? Erin Cloud, who’s spent the past seven years advocating for parents in the child welfare system, shares a thought provoking story about what happens when biased reporting causes unintentional harm. Here, we shine a spotlight on this troubling example of when systems meant to support children’s health end up failing black mothers and children.

Launch an Early Childhood Parent Academy
Interested in developing free, accessible lessons that empower parents around early childhood development? An early childhood parent academy—a structured set of courses covering key topic areas that parents need to know about early childhood development—does just that. Click in for a curriculum and strategies on how to launch one in your state. 

What children’s health innovation stories have you read lately? Share them with us @NICHQ on Twitter!