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ERIC Number: ED503145
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Improving the Nation's Health. Step One: Reduce Toxic Stress in Early Childhood. Perspectives
Louv, Richard
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
To reduce risk factors for adult disease in our society, we must tackle the problem of toxic stress in early childhood. This condition is associated with the excessive release of a stream of hormones whose persistent elevation can disrupt the wiring of the developing brain and the functioning of the immune system. Children who experience toxic stress in early childhood may develop a lifetime of greater susceptibility to stress-related physical illness, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as mental health problems, including depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. Reliable, nurturing relationships with adults buffer children from the adverse effects of toxic stress and are essential for healthy brain development. These protective influences can be provided by families, child-care facilities, libraries, schools, neighborhood support networks, and family-friendly places of employment--each of which has a role to play in supporting the healthy development of all children.
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Available from: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. 50 Church Street 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-496-0578; Fax: 617-496-1229; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Scientific Council on the Developing Child