The adverse health impact of child-parent separation

According to child trauma specialists and pediatrics, the children who are separated from their parents at an early age could acquire serious psychological and physical damage later in their life. As said by scientists, these health impacts could pose to be long-term and/or irreversible.

Such children experience an increased heart rate and a higher release of “stress hormones” like adrenaline and cortisol. This higher level of stress hormones could end up killing the dendrites, which are tiny branches of the brain cells responsible for transmitting messages. This could also kill the neurons, thereby damaging the brain’s physical structure.

Pediatrics and Neuroscience professor, Charles A Nelson III at the Harvard Medical School, pointed out the effect to be catastrophic.

Understanding the effect of child-parent separation on the children, psychologists, pediatricians, and health specialists are strongly opposing the recent “border crossing policy” of the Trump administration that has been the cause of separation of near about two thousand immigrant kids from their parents within just a few weeks.

Prof. Charles Nelson said, “This is completely ridiculous and I’m approaching that not as someone who’s taking a position in the politics, but as a scientist.” Nelson added, “We just know the science does not support that this is good for kids.”

The American College of Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics representing near about two hundred fifty thousand doctors of the United States, have combinedly released statements against this policy. Moreover, around one hundred forty-two organizations and seven thousand seven hundred mental-health professionals have signed an appeal urging the President to cease this ruthless policy.

The appeal reads, ‘‘To pretend that separated children do not grow up with the shrapnel of this traumatic experience embedded in their minds is to disregard everything we know about child development, the brain, and trauma.’’

As said by the psychological experts the children who get separated from their parents at an early age, show decreased white matter, which affects the transmission of information in their brain. As they grow up, these children tend to show a low problem-solving ability and a decreased IQ level. According to other studies, such separations result in cognitive difficulties and increased aggression.

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