Centro per la Salute del Bambino onlus, Trieste
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Key words: Economic crisis, Child health, Inequalities, Social policies, Fertility, Child development, Families
The implications for the state of children of the current economic downturn in middle and high income countries are analysed. They include: a reduction of fertility, a worsening of nutritional status and an increase in mental health problems; potential obstacles to access to quality care; a deterioration of child rearing practices and of opportunities for intellectual and social development. The situation looks particularly worrying in Italy, due to the severity of the financial crisis and to the inadequacy of the current policies for families and childhood. Policies and interventions that can reduce the impact of the crisis particularly on the most disadvantaged groups are indicated, and the role of professionals devoted to child health and development in advocating and supporting these measures is emphasised.
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