If left unaddressed, toxic stress can affect growth, learning, behavior, immunity, and even genes. Kids who are exposed to very high doses of adversity without the support of a loving and caring adults can have more than double the lifetime risk of heart disease and cancer and a nearly 20-year difference in life expectancy. They’re also at greater risk for depression, obesity, substance abuse problems, smoking, lung problems, and teen pregnancy, along with other chronic illnesses down the road.
If your child has been exposed to adversity, know you’re not alone. Roughly half of the children in the United states have had potentially life-altering traumatic experiences. But there’s good news: Research shows parents can be the most powerful force in preventing or even reversing the impact of toxic stress in their children. That’s why we’re on a mission to help.