National Children’s Study

More than 100,00 children across the United States will participate in the Study. Researchers will follow children from before birth until they are 21 years old.

Pam Silberman, Director of Community Relations for the National Children’s Study at the University of Utah visits Studio 5 with details.

What the study will learn?

The study will look at children’s families, neighborhoods and schools. It will learn about each child’s health as he or she grows up. Scientists will examine chemicals in food, water, dust and soil. The study will use this information to understand the causes of many of today’s childhood diseases.

Who is performing the Study in Salt Lake County?

Salt Lake County is one of the first seven counties in the US to begin the National Children’s Study. The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah is leading the Study in Salt Lake county. They are working with Primary children’s Medical Center, city governments throughout Salt Lake county and community-based organizations.

The National Children’s Study in Salt Lake County is one of many local studies being conducted by universities, hospitals, local government agencies and community-based organizations across the US. The National Institute for Child Health and Development is coordinating the Study from Washington, DC to combine all of the information from each community.

Why focus the research on children?

Children are different from adults. Their young bodies make them more vulnerable than adults to environmental exposures. It is important for us to understand which of these exposures are harmful, harmless or helpful to children’s health and development.

When will the Study start? How do people get involved?

Study staff members will be visiting neighborhoods throughout Salt Lake County beginning in Spring 2009. More than 7,000 households have been selected to represent Salt Lake county. They want to enroll children from before birth so they will invite women between the ages of 18 and 49 to participate. They hope to have the participation of women and families that represent the whole community, including all racial, ethnic, religious, income and educational groups. They will follow a total of 1,250 children from Salt Lake county during this landmark study on childhood health, growth and development.

What will we learn from the study and when?

Results about the causes of conditions such as birth defects will be available within two to three years after the study begins. They will release additional results throughout the study.

The National Children’s Study will identify exposures in early life that affect people during childhood and throughout the rest of their lives. Health professionals and others who work with children will use the results to develop new ways to prevent health problems and possibly new treatments for diseases.

How will the study help us?

The National children’s Study will be the richest information resource for questions about child health ever. It will guide us in preventing and treating childhood asthma, cancers, neuro-development disorders, like autism, obesity, diabetes and birth defects. The study will not provide health care or directly affect the health of the children who participate. However, in the future it will save the lives and improve the health of millions of American children.

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