Children’s health

Children experience disease differently to adults. For example, the adolescent brain is not the same as an adult brain, an infant’s immune system differs to that of an adult and young children metabolise and excrete drugs differently.

Not only are children’s bodies smaller than adults, but they have thinner skin, less fluid in their body, breathe more air per kilo of body weight and are more likely to become sick or severely injured.

A child’s coping mechanism is not as advanced as an adult’s ability to cope. Children don’t have the experiences of adults to draw upon and may feel more out of control and unable to handle stressful situations leading to mental health issues. Brain development in the adolescent may mean that they take more risks or don’t know how to handle certain situations.

Understanding disease in children

Preventing and diagnosing disease in children gives them the best chance of a fulfilling and healthy life.

Understanding disease in children will help lead to better treatments and therapies. Researchers into children’s health:

  • undertake basic laboratory research to investigate how and why disease occurs
  • participate in clinical research alongside doctors and other healthcare providers to diagnose disease in children
  • carry out population and community studies to determine how disease impacts children.

Image caption: Baby Mia undergoing a health assessment.

Image credit: MCRI

The institutes listed below are currently researching Children’s health, and more information about their discoveries can be found by visiting their websites.
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