As we do every year, the doctors and editors of KidsHealth have sifted through scores of health issues affecting children and families to choose 10 important trends to keep tabs on in 2009. There are significant trends, but there was one common thread that factored into nearly every aspect of families' lives and so became our focus of attention: The economy.
The financial crunch, here and around the world, will undoubtedly affect the physical and mental health of parents and kids throughout 2009 — and beyond. The basics that families may have taken for granted just a year ago are becoming a real struggle for many. Each of us is feeling the pinch in some way.
So, we've pinpointed a collection of the biggest challenges ― and opportunities ― that lie head. Of course, these aren't the only important issues affecting kids' health ― far from it. But we hope we can offer some insights into what to expect and how to make it all work, despite the setbacks of 2008 and others that might loom ahead.
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