Racism hurts children's health: Here's what pediatricians can do

Racism is a core social determinant of child and teen health, but pediatricians can help reduce its effects, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

AAP published a policy brief in the journal Pediatrics to outline the effects of racism on health so pediatricians can improve clinical care, workforce development, education and other structural issues that create disparities in care.

Some of the clinical practice guidelines include:

  • Creating a culturally safe environment that acknowledges and measures the effects of racism on patients.
  • Training staff to provide culturally and linguistically competent care.
  • Assessing patients for stressors related to racism and connecting families to resources to address those stressors.

"Pediatricians must examine and acknowledge their own biases and embrace and advocate for innovative policies and cross-sector partnerships designed to improve medical, economic, environmental, housing, judicial, and educational equity for optimal child, adolescent, and emerging adult developmental outcomes," the authors conclude.

Read the full brief here.

 

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