Children Could Benefit from Medical Research, Study Says

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids

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You read about all these studies and research projects on ParentDish. Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I wish scientists from Pennbrook University would do medical research on my child"?

Most parents overlook the possible benefit of children participating in medical research. How do we know? Guess what? There's been a study.

Researchers from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health surveyed parents earlier this year and found one in nine adults have participated in medical research -- compared with only one in 20 children.

A university press release also reports that 68 percent of adults are aware of medical research opportunities for themselves. However, 84 percent of parents are not aware of medical research opportunities for children.

So, c'mon, kids, who wants to play guinea pig? It's not as bad as it sounds.

"Medical research is the backbone of improving medical care. Without volunteers, medical research cannot move forward," Matthew Davis, an associate professor at the University of Michigan's medical school, says in the release.

Participation in research is essential to continued medical progress, Davis says.

Over the last 100 years, infant mortality in the United States has been reduced by 90 percent. Millions of deaths from diseases such as polio, diphtheria, pneumonia and influenza have been prevented by vaccines.

Children with life-threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and diabetes now survive beyond childhood, into adult years.

All thanks to kids participating in medical research.

"Awareness about research opportunities, which is a necessary step before participation, is reasonably high among adults but strikingly low for children's research," Davis adds. "To improve participation rates among children, researchers and institutions evidently need to do a better job of getting the word out to parents."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.