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Racism has long-term negative effects on children's health

There are a lot of terrible things about racism, as we were reminded this weekend. And one of them is that it can have long-term negative effects on children's health, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a policy statement.

"Although we have progressed toward greater racial equity, racism continues to undermine the health of children, adolescents and families. ... The stress generated by experiences of racism may start through maternal exposures while in utero and continue after birth with the potential to create toxic stress."
— The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • This can affect both mental and physical health and lead to issues like preterm births, low newborn birthweight and the development of heart disease, diabetes and depression later on in life.

Between the lines: Racism is constantly in news headlines, as the Washington Post points out, and white nationalism is on the rise.

  • “If you look at what’s in the news today, in social media, on Twitter, there’s so much kids are exposed to,” Jackie Douge, a pediatrician who co-wrote the statement, told the Post. “As much as you want to keep it in the background, it’s not in the background. It’s having direct health effects on kids.”