The American Academy of Pediatrics has enabled a recent report connecting "toxic stress" in childhood to permanent mental, intellectual and physical damage, and has asked pediatricians to inspire fundamental change in early childhood policy and services.
It is now widely known that children who face a tumultuous childhood grow up to be unhealthy adults with many problems like substance abuse, failed relationships and poverty. When children are constantly exposed to situations in their childhood where the child's "fight or flight" response to adversity is constantly activated, the child is unable to make clear judgments. The child's capacity to learn as well as his future response to stress is impaired in such a scenario.
"Pediatricians are now armed with new information about the adverse effects of toxic stress on brain development, as well as deeper understanding of the early-life origin of many adult diseases. As trusted authorities in child health and development, pediatric providers must now complement the early identification of developmental concerns with a greater focus on those interventions and community investments that reduce external threats to healthy brain growth," researchers said.