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June 27, 2007

Pediatric Chronic Diseases—Stealing Childhood

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Zylke (jody.zylke@jama-archives.org) is Contributing Editor and Dr DeAngelis is Editor in Chief, JAMA.

JAMA. 2007;297(24):2765-2766. doi:10.1001/jama.297.24.2765

It is easy to romanticize childhood, especially in the middle of summer. Memories of lazy days at the beach, playing baseball or double Dutch with friends, catching lightning bugs in a jar and hopefully remembering to let them go, and having no concerns about bills to pay or time pressures or health problems. Perhaps childhood still is that way for some children, but for those with a chronic illness, life can be complicated and difficult. A child with asthma may need to take daily medication, an obese youngster may endure taunts or stares, a child with cancer may be hospitalized for extended periods of time, and concerns about bills and time and health are very real, at least for their parents.

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