Research is commonly done with adults first and many medicines and treatments have been studied only in adults. You may wonder why children are included in research since it involves uncertainty and may have risks. In many cases, research with children is important because of:
Many children today benefit from research that was done on children in the past. For example, the ways that doctors treat many childhood cancers and cystic fibrosis are based on past research.
In 1998, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) made a policy that children should be included in all NIH-supported research unless there are good reasons to leave them out. In 2002, Congress approved the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act which urges drug companies to do studies of certain medicines that are used in children but have not yet been studied in children.
The Pediatric Heart Network was established to conduct research in congenital heart defects and pediatric heart disease in order to improve health and quality of life.
The Children and Clinical Studies website is a great place to find information about research in children. There you will find videos of researchers, parents and children sharing their stories about being in a study. You will learn more about what it means to be in a study and what happens during and after a study.
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