How violence can impact children’s health

How violence can impact children’s health
Violence may impact children's health. (Source: NBC)

(KAIT/NBC) - Regular exposure to neighborhood drugs, violence, and other traumatic events can trigger certain illnesses, which is especially concerning for children.

Dr. Harolyn Belcher, a neuro-developmental pediatrician at Kennedy Krieger Institute, said trauma causes the body’s central stress response system to kick in.

“When you have chronic activation of the HPA axis, that can cause dysregulation of the immune system of the cardiovascular system, of the endocrine system and these lead to what we find is increased incidents of obesity, increased diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression,” Dr. Belcher said.

The Harambee Center in Baltimore identifies children who have adverse childhood experiences and offers them trauma-informed care.

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