An array of factors affects a child’s health, including the natural environment and the emotional, social, educational and economic settings in which they live, study and play.

Therefore, pediatricians should strive to take a more wide-ranging role in promoting and advocating for the well-being of children in their community, according to the new AAP policy statement, Community Pediatrics: Navigating the Intersection of Medicine, Public Health, and Social Determinants of Children’s Health (Pediatrics. 2013;131:623-628, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2012-3933).

“This really pushes the boundaries as to what we can do in the field of pediatrics, to what we can do to optimize children’s health and help them be the best they can be,” said Alice A. Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., M.Ed., FAAP, co-author of the statement and a member of the AAP Council on Community Pediatrics Executive Committee.

Dr. Kuo described the policy statement’s recommendations as “the intersection of pediatrics and public...

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