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Institute of Medicine studies global child health

May / June 2014 | Volume 13, Issue 3

Found young children of varying ages crouched in grassy area, looking at camera, stone wall in background
Photo by Okwen Patrick Mbah/Photoshare

The U.S. Institute of Medicine is studying ways to
improve young children's development so they are
better able to reach their full potential.

Children whose development languishes in their first few years of life may never entirely catch, so it is essential to do more for them when the window is open. To devise cost-effective investments for this goal, the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently launched a high-level project, "Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally," a series of nine workshops that will culminate in a report.

At the first session, attendees discussed health, education, nutrition and social protection factors that are important for child development through age 8. They also summarized the current state of the world's young children and their caregivers, and examined the possible economic gain if children reach their full potential.

In future meetings, forum participants will explore existing, new and innovative science and research from around the world and translate this evidence into strategic investments in policies and practices. Successful implementation will require indicators and measures to track progress.

The project will produce a report after its last workshop, planned for September 2016.

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