As health professionals who work with children—whether we’re pediatricians, nurses or medical assistants—it is our job to help our patients get a healthy start that gives them a good chance to live long, healthy lives.
Yet for millions of children, from all walks of life, that prospect is threatened by the stressful experiences they go through. There is clear evidence that early adversity greatly increases the lifetime risk of chronic diseases that are the leading causes of death in the United States.
This must change — and as health professionals, we have it within our power to start changing it. We are uniquely positioned to educate parents and caregivers about the health effects of childhood adversity and we can help families get the help they need to prevent early adverse experiences from having lifelong effects.
While we are a few years away from a validated ACEs screening tool, we recognize there is a growing community of health care professionals who see the opportunity provided by addressing ACEs in a pediatric care setting.
That is why CYW is making available our Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire and User Guide (CYW ACE-Q) to pediatric offices. The CYW ACE-Q is administered by a health care professional and is completed confidentially by parents and caregivers of children from 0 to 19 years old or by adolescents ages 13 to 19. The User Guide offers background information on the original ACE study findings, the rationale for screening in children, along with suggestions on how to present and score the CYW ACE-Q, We are confident these tools can help us as health professionals to improve the lives of children, and we invite you to use them.