Healthy children are better able and ready to learn, and as they grow older, they are more likely to become healthy adults.
Over the past century, childhood death rates in the United States have plummeted. This is largely a result of public health campaigns in the early 20th century to improve drinking water quality, food safety, sewage disposal, and personal hygiene, followed by the widespread use of antibiotics and the introduction of childhood vaccines after World War II.
The triumph over childhood infectious diseases in the United States is nothing short of extraordinary. Yet today, there are a growing number of youngsters with serious chronic illnesses like childhood overweight, pre-diabetes, asthma, and mental health disorders.
Recognizing that children are a vulnerable population, the Cambridge Public Health Department has been creating innovative programs to better serve the city’s children for more than a decade. Current programs include the Children’s Dental Program, the Healthy Homes childhood asthma program, Lead-Safe Kids, the Agenda for Children Literacy Initiative, the Infant-Toddler Home Visiting Program, and the School Nutrition Program.