For Children, the Future Is Now

Three reports out today, and one from last week, point out that public, medical and parental decision-making is not quite what it could be in terms of protecting children’s health.

— The Institute of Medicine put out a weighty report just this afternoon, noting that one-third of the nation’s nearly 75 million kids are, or are at risk of, becoming obese. Blame is spread among federal and local policymakers and parents.

— Parents demand antibiotics for children with ear infections, despite the fact most infections clear up by themselves and that antibiotic overuse is a public health danger.

— Drug companies, anxious to market new products, don’t bother to get their research on childrens’ medications published in journals that pediatricians rely on for new information.

— Pediatricians are reluctant to tell parents to stop smoking around the house.

“Children are our future” goes the cliché whenever a politician or advocate wants to get on the right side of parents. Actually, children are just children, and they deserve to be protected against threats to their health – today, not tomorrow.

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