The Top Children's Health Stories of 2018
With 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!
Are Your Hospital’s Website Images Safe-Sleep Friendly?
The internet is filled with unsafe images of babies sleeping. Hospital websites can set a much-needed positive online precedent. Here, learn what you can do make sure your hospital images are safe sleep friendly.
How to Improve Health Systems for Families: One Mom's Investment in Change
In 2004, after experiencing severe preeclampsia, Tara Bristol Rouse quickly learned just how complicated the health system can be. Now, after 15 years of advocacy, she’s sharing making things easier for families across the nation.
Families Drive Better Outcomes in Children’s Health
Christy Blakely and Elizabeth Aquino both have daughters with special healthcare needs. And both went on to become passionate family partners, advocating for change in the health system. When you read their stories, you'll see that change is possible, thanks to the power of family voices.
Driving Statewide Improvement in Perinatal Care
Across the nation, perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) are working to improve health outcomes for moms and babies by advancing evidence-informed clinical practices. In this article, learn about strategies for developing and sustaining a successful PQC. While the advice focuses on perinatal health, these ideas can benefit any quality improvement collaborative seeking to improve care delivery across a state or community.
Recent Legislation that Supports Better Children’s Health Outcomes
In recent months, there has been a surge of legislative actions for children’s health advocates. New laws have been passed that provide funding for programs and research initiatives essential for improving the health and well-being of children and families across the country. Here, NICHQ provides an update on the legislation and brief analysis on the impact on children’s health.
A New Study Reveals a Breakthrough in Examining Rare Events
Targeted efforts can help decrease the U.S.'s troubling high infant mortality rate. However, since infant mortality is considered a relatively rare occurrence, it can difficult to measure improvement efforts and assess impact. To combat these challenges, NICHQ leveraged a QI approach novel to the field of maternal child health: the use of statistical process control (SPC) charts. In this article, we share insight on how these charts can improve maternal and child health programs by helping them analyze and respond to rare events.