Latinos recently became the largest racial/ethnic minority group of
US children. The Latino Consortium of the American Academy of Pediatrics Center
for Child Health Research, consisting of 13 expert panelists, identified the
most important urgent priorities and unanswered questions in Latino child
health. Conclusions were drawn when consensus was reached among members, with
refinement through multiple iterations. A consensus statement with supporting
references was drafted and revised. This article summarizes the key issues,
including lack of validated research instruments, frequent unjustified exclusion
from studies, and failure to analyze data by pertinent subgroups. Latino children
are at high risk for behavioral and developmental disorders, and there are
many unanswered questions about their mental health needs and use of services.
The prevalence of dental caries is disproportionately higher for Latino children,
but the reasons for this disparity are unclear. Culture and language can profoundly
affect Latino children's health, but not enough cultural competency training
of health care professionals and provision of linguistically appropriate care
occur. Latinos are underrepresented at every level of the health care professions.
Latino children are at high risk for school dropout, environmental hazards,
obesity, diabetes mellitus, asthma, lack of health insurance, nonfinancial
barriers to health care access, and impaired quality of care, but many key
questions in these areas remain unanswered. This article suggests areas in
which more research is needed and ways to improve research and care of Latino
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