Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

14 November 2015

America's New Normal: Chronically Ill Kids

"Over half of US children now suffer from a chronic condition, disability, or disease. Americans spend the least on food, the most on health care, have the most highly vaccinated kids, and have the sickest kids of any industrialized country. More kids than not are now chronically ill, developmentally delayed, and eating or injecting prescription medications from cradle to grave – which is going to be a quicker trip for them than it was for their parents..."

America's New Normal: Chronically Ill Kids
by Judy Converse, MPH RD LD, fearlessparent.org, 10 November 2015

When it comes to this topic of chronically ill kids, do you have moments that pierce the bubble of consciousness and take your breath away?

I was waiting to board an early flight to Denver recently, sipping a bracing hot cup of black tea, when I witnessed a scene that would’ve stopped parents from 1975 in their tracks.

An overweight boy of about eleven years was speaking in stilted singsong as he furiously scissored his fingers close to his eyes. He hummed and rocked in an effort to whitewash the crowds, loudspeakers, beeping carts, and blaring TV monitors. Meantime, his younger sister ping-ponged around the gate area, pulling on other kids, jumping off furniture and squealing loudly. Their harried father, his tone quiet and steady, stuck close to his vulnerable son while he attempted, with little success, to lasso his daughter by voice alone.

Well versed by now in juggling his kids, he was a cool cucumber. I wondered how. This could make any parent crack, sigh, or drop head to hands in despair. But no. This was his normal. Nobody in the gate area raised an eyebrow.

Another family sat across from me. Their oldest girl, about five years old, was bald with hollow eyes. Her pink, sparkly headband, festooned with a sequined daisy, screamed cancer even louder than her fog grey pallor.

The cancer parents wore a veneer of happy calm that seemed a little deeper than just …veneer. What else is a parent to do in the face of losing a child? So here was their normal: A sickly daughter who may live, or not. Cancer specialist visits. Pink headbands. Nobody in the gate area blinked.

Our kids are sicker than ever

Autism. ADHD. Cancer. One full jet, ten kids boarding, three with serious, life-threatening conditions. I had a morbid “Would You Rather” moment:

- The kid supported by insurance and adored by the public (ever “like” a cancer kid on Facebook?) but with odds of dying sooner (cancer kills more American children than all other chronic conditions combined), or…
-The kids with chronic, poorly understood conditions, barely covered by insurance, often ruthlessly bullied by peers, scorned by teachers, or maligned by the public, with a good chance of dying young? Kids with autism have higher mortality rates than peers, and die most often by drowning due to a lack of sense of danger. ADHD kids are at higher risk of death from all causes once in their teens.

We’re going backwards

Over half of US children now suffer from a chronic condition, disability, or disease. Americans spend the least on food, the most on health care, have the most highly vaccinated kids, and have the sickest kids of any industrialized country. More kids than not are now chronically ill, developmentally delayed, and eating or injecting prescription medications from cradle to grave – which is going to be a quicker trip for them than it was for their parents, according to data on life expectancy in the US. We are inured to childhood autism, epilepsy, allergy, asthma, diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s disease and cancer. We are dying younger. We are going backwards.

I grew up not knowing a single child with these conditions. I neither had the flu nor flu shots (as there weren’t any). I only remember being sick when I had the chickenpox, which was a rite of passage for the ten and under.

Causes of death for US children have shifted since 1970. As then, accidents and injuries still top the list. And poverty is still a potent predictor of higher mortality. Chances of surviving cancer are stronger for children now, but there has been a fifty percent increase in cancer rates in children compared to forty years ago. Is this due to “better diagnosing” too, as we have been told about the staggering increase in autism?

Correlation with chronic illness

I don’t know. But I do know this: The current crop of devastating diseases and conditions correlates with three disturbing modern factors:


In 1983, children were required to have ten vaccines by age six. That changed to forty-nine by age six in 2013 — not counting flu shots. To maximize profits, manufacturers and health insurers bundle as many vaccines as possible into one syringe. And doctors, once told to give no more than four simultaneous vaccines, are now expected to give up to nine. This means that twelve-month-old babies can get a total of twenty-five antigens in one day — an astounding immune assault for a twenty pounder.

Pregnant women are now encouraged to have flu shots – which was found to trigger more fetal deaths. Still, nobody blinks. Our government just adds more, telling pregnant women to get TDaP shots too (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis).

The FDA has never tested the results of giving all these vaccines together in one day, or the cumulative effect of giving so many to a very young child. By the age of six, under the current schedule, kids get at least eighty-five viral and bacterial antigens, plus mercury (still in flu shots), aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s), formaldehyde, nut oil adjuvants, and contaminant viral or bacterial DNA.


A major departure from global consensus on when to safely vaccinate babies occurred when the first GMO vaccine was introduced in 1991. Vaccine manufacturers convinced the CDC that hepatitis B virus could be eradicated in a single generation, by jabbing babies on the day they were born. The CDC bought in, and roped in the FDA to license it for this market, despite quietly acknowledging that newborns did not actually need the shot. These government agencies and pharmaceutical interests then monitored outcomes with “post market surveillance” – that is, they colluded to use newborns, usually without parental knowledge or informed consent, in a massive experiment to see what would happen. For 24 years now, all babies born in the US have been vaccinated at birth for hepatitis B virus – unless a parent knows to opt out. This was not mandated. It was just done, because the CDC started telling doctors to do it.

It has not eradicated the virus.

This shot, administered at the very vulnerable moment of birth, may well be responsible for more developmental or immune system injury than any other vaccine. The federal government’sVAERS database has 15,356 serious adverse events reported for hepatitis B vaccine and 8,477 of them are in children age 0-4 in the US (meaning, the child died or was permanently disabled by the vaccine). It was banned in France in 1998 because of links to autoimmune diseases.

After my son was given this shot, without my knowledge or consent, and nearly died, I wrote and published an investigative memoir about how this disturbing project took root, and how it has achieved nothing other than enormous profits for the pharmaceutical industry.

A horrific footnote: The newborn vaccine contained the adult dose of mercury in it for over a decade — 200 times the EPA limit. Tens of thousands of children had been mercury-poisoned at birth, when the brain is most vulnerable. There were no fines, no sanctions, not so much as a wrist slap because there were no lawsuits. Individuals, after all, have not been able to sue vaccine makers for injuries or deaths since 1986.


In 1995 genetically modified crops entered the US food supply without review or regulation. Papaya and tomatoes were the first foods tinkered with (Hawaii is locked in one of the hundreds of Monsanto battles). Soon after came soy and corn — key ingredients in infant formulas and processed food for infants and children. For the first time in human existence, infants were injected with GMO viral material on the day they were born, and ingesting GMO formula.

GMO foods and vaccines jam genetic traits across species into each other, in combinations not possible in nature. Because of disturbing data on how GMO foods disrupt beneficial human gut microbes, trigger allergies or cancers, and injure organs, other countries refuse American GMO crops, ban GMO foods, or require GMO labeling. Not us. The government’s symbiotic relationship with Big Food ensures that we have no idea what we’re eating. No action is taken on a federal level since the FDA dubbed GMO foods “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS), a designation that requires no safety testing. This happened simply because a Monsanto consulting attorney told the FDA to do it that way, in 1992. A quarter century later, consumers are wising up – and trying to get state-mandated labeling laws. Predictably, these usually fail thanks to outrageous sums of money poured into states from corporate interests eager to keep you uninformed enough to continue buying their products.

What we can do?

Want a family? Research toxin-free health care, food, and home. Talk to friends who vaccinate and those who don’t. Compare. Which parents struggle with sleep, behavior, developmental delays, allergies, or learning? Whose kids are calm, content, growing, and thriving? By age four or five, whose kids are riding a bike or climbing things, and whose kids are still in a stroller?

If you have kids with health challenges, the good news is that our bodies respond to restoration efforts. The younger kids are, the quicker they respond to nutritious food and non-toxic health care.

In addition to Fearless Parent, read Green Med Info, Vaccine Free Child, Healthy Home Economist. Read Vaccine Epidemic and my books and blog.

I don’t doubt that our rank and file physicians earnestly believe they are doing a good job by routinely prescribing medications for reflux, constipation, behavior, mood, focus, attention, sleep, chronic infections, inflammatory conditions, and more for infants and children, all day, every day. But do they ever stop to think: When, why did this become normal? Why are we okay with this? Do children need all these drugs?

Your kids can be healthier. You are empowered to choose who works with your children. It’s never too late to restore your children’s birthright to good health. Think outside the box. Interview family nurse practitioners, naturopathic doctors, osteopathic doctors, classical homeopaths, or family practice physicians to find the right support for your family. It still takes a village. It shouldn’t take a pharmaceutical arsenal.

Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD has been practicing integrative nutrition for infants, children, and teens since 1999. She is a licensed registered dietitian with master’s and undergraduate degrees in nutrition. She has authored three books and is a contributing author of the bestselling book Vaccine Epidemic. Judy lectures widely on nutrition supports for children with autism and other special needs. She lives in Colorado with her husband and son. Join her at NutritionCare.net where you can find her blog, twitter, newsletter, and Facebook feeds.


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