The American Academy of Pediatrics emphasizes the latest research showing the significance of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships as a protective buffer against the biological harms of toxic stress on children – as well as a key toward building resilience – in an updated policy statement. When children feel connected and supported in the early years, they are more likely to become healthy, competent and educated citizens later in life.
The policy statement, “Preventing Childhood Toxic Stress: Partnering With Families and Communities to Promote Relational Health,” will be published in the August 2021 Pediatrics (published online July 26). The statement focuses on just how important relationships and positive childhood experiences are in preventing and healing toxic stress. This policy moves away from a problem-based model that focuses on a child’s past adverse experiences and instead presents a positive, strengths-based approach that fosters solutions at the family, community and societal levels.