Preventing adverse childhood experiences requires us to reduce stress on families and foster safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments for children.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful and potentially traumatizing events that take place in childhood. They can include abuse, neglect and family challenges such as living with a parent with mental illness or witnessing domestic violence.
Adversity in childhood also stems from colonialism, racism, poverty, lack of stable housing and weak community supports. Environmental adversity like climate change, wildfires, flooding and pandemics all contribute to stress experienced by families.
Children who experience multiple adverse childhood experiences have a higher chance of depression, substance use and chronic disease as adults.
Positive childhood experiences and relationships increase children’s ability to cope with those challenges. The more positive experiences a child has, the more likely they are to experience good health throughout their life.
Four areas of action to enhance protective factors and reduce risk factors for adverse childhood experiences
1. Build connected and inclusive communities
2. Provide opportunities for social emotional development
3. Promote reproductive health and rights
4. Offer culturally responsive caregiving and supports
Join us in preventing adverse childhood experiences in our communities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.