Children's Health Watch
The Center for Hunger-Free Communities coordinates the Philadelphia site of Children’s HealthWatch, a surveillance study that monitors the health and well-being of very young children under the age of four. In this age range, children are in a period of rapid brain growth and development. Therefore, even mild-to-moderate under-nutrition can have long term negative consequences.
Children's HealthWatch is comprised of a network of pediatricians and public health researchers. We collect data on children up to the age of four in emergency rooms and clinics at:
- St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia
- Boston Medical Center in Boston
- University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock
- Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis
Since 1998, the study has provided the most current and largest dataset in the nation about the food security and development of very young children living in poverty. At the Philadelphia site, we have interviewed more than 5,000 caregivers. Children's HealthWatch research has demonstrated the positive impact that participation in federal assistance programs like WIC, SNAP, and LIHEAP have on children's health, development, and growth in Philadelphia and throughout the country.