The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is deeply involved in efforts to ensure that children's needs are recognized and incorporated into disaster preparedness and response efforts. Each time a disaster occurs, it demonstrates all too clearly that children's needs have not been planned for or addressed appropriately.
The AAP is committed to engaging with policymakers at the federal, state, and local level to ensure that children are protected and provided for in all types of disasters. The AAP Department of Federal Affairs is a leading member of the National Coalition on Children and Disasters. The Coalition advocates on behalf of policies that ensure the well-being of children and their families in the preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural or man-made disasters in the United States. Learn more about AAP Federal Advocacy efforts.Testimony
November 7, 2014 – Written Testimony by the AAP
Concerning the US Government Response: Fighting Ebola and Protecting America - Senate Appropriations Committee
The AAP urges Congress to consider the special health needs of children, especially those in West Africa, as well as the importance of funding for public health preparedness and response programs abroad and in the United States.
May 17, 2012 – Testimony by Michael R. Anderson, MD, FAAP
Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Dr Anderson spoke about the unique needs of children during disasters, the ethical imperative of including children in clinical trials, and the need for medications and supplies that are designed for children in the Strategic National Stockpile. Dr Anderson stated that the AAP agreed with the recommendations of the National Preparedness and Response Science Board on the collection of pre-event data on anthrax vaccine adsorbed, stressing that pediatric experts must be involved in the design and implementation of any studies involving children. Comments and Correspondence
May 17, 2011 – Testimony by Michael R. Anderson, MD, FAAP
A Nation Prepared: Strengthening Medical and Public Health Preparedness and Response – US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
April 13, 2011 – Testimony by Daniel B. Fagbuyi, MD, FAAP
Taking Measure of Countermeasures (Part 1) – US House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness
Department of Homeland Security Reauthorization
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Authorization Act , S 1546, has been introduced in the Senate. Since the inception of DHS in 2003, the department has yet to be reauthorized. The bipartisan bill implements more extensive reporting requirements, aims to strengthen the disaster recovery workforce, and requires the development of a communication plan with residents in the vicinity of a nuclear, biological, radiological, or chemical incident. The bill does not contain specific pediatric provisions. The bill has been considered and approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
In the House of Representatives, HR 3116, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, has been introduced and passed by the House Homeland Security Committee. Among other things, the bill creates a new program to prevent nuclear or radiological attacks in high-risk metropolitan areas.
Neither the full House nor Senate has taken up the reauthorization bills, and it is unclear when further action on the issue might occur.