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Pediatrician Clinician-researchers, doctors and nurses talk about the importance of conducting clinical trials for children while addressing common questions that parents and caregivers face.

Why Clinical Studies are Important

Clinical research in children helps us to treat our children like children, rather than little adults by:
  • Finding the best dose of medicines to prevent harmful effects or under-treatment.
  • Making chewables, liquids or tablets that are easier for children to take, yet still safe.
  • Finding treatments for problems that occur only in children, like prematurity.
  • Finding treatments for diseases or conditions that occur in both children and adults but which can act differently in children and adults, like arthritis or heart disease.
  • Finding treatments for new or existing diseases to improve the health of children in the future, like vaccine studies that were done years ago help children stay healthier today.
  • Understanding how medicines affect children's brains and bodies as they grow and develop.

Stages of Growth

Children are growing. They are changing and maturing all the time. An 8-month-old is completely different from an 8-year-old, who is completely different from an 18-year-old...so even among children, everyone is different. And at each of the stages of growth below, children may need different doses of medicine, different sizes of devices or different types of therapy.
The Stages of Growth range from preterm newborn infants, to term infants (0-28 days), to infants and toddlers (more than 28 days to 23 months), to children 2 to 11 years, to adolescents 12 to 18 years.
For example, testing of one antibiotic showed that babies needed higher doses than older children to get rid of their infection. Many medicines are filtered out of the body and handled differently by a child's developing liver or kidneys - and because there is limited research, we don't know what the long term effects on these organs may be. So, we need to study them to find out.

"We would not know as much as we know today if people were not brave enough to be in clinical trials. So it helps future generations."
Jackie, mother of child in Fabry disease study

"She's part of a different statistic that's going to help other babies..."
Nicole, mother of child in heart defect study

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