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Am J Public Health. 2012 Sep;102(9):1688-96. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300687. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

A new framework for childhood health promotion: the role of policies and programs in building capacity and foundations of early childhood health.

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Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Although the connection between early life experiences and later health is becoming increasingly clear, what is needed, now, is a new organizing framework for childhood health promotion, grounded in the latest science. We review the evidence base to identify the steps in the overall pathway to ensuring better health for all children. A key factor in optimizing health in early childhood is building capacities of parents and communities. Although often overlooked, capacities are integral to building the foundations of lifelong health in early childhood. We outline a framework for policymakers and practitioners to guide future decision-making and investments in early childhood health promotion.

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