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Impact of Policy on Children
April 13, 2020

For Healthy Development’s Sake, It Is Time to Mainstream Summertime

Author Affiliations
  • 1Retired IBM Corporation, Research Division, St Augustine, Florida
  • 2Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(6):521-522. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.0159

We present this Viewpoint to increase the awareness of and provide some personal perspectives on a recently released study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) on summertime and the healthy development and well-being of children and adolescents.1 Summertime is a unique season of possibilities and a time when perturbations in the ecosystems of children, adolescents, and families can affect development and well-being in substantial ways. These perturbations can include levels of adult supervision, time spent in structured vs unstructured experiences, food security, community environmental exposures (including drugs, alcohol, violence, and police activity), access to health care, sedentary time, and use of media and technology. Armed with key findings and recommendations from this report, pediatricians can have a greater influence on research, policy, and practice to optimize summertime experiences that advance academic learning, health, safety, and positive development for children and adolescents.

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