Children's Health

Children's Health

Children are our future and our present, and we do our best to promote their healthy growth and development. Dr. Thompson began focusing her research on children’s risks while on the faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she created the Harvard Kids Risk Project in 2000. She directed the Harvard Kids Risk Project through 2009, before launching Kid Risk, Inc. as an independent non-profit organization. For the last 20 years of collaborative work, our research on children’s health spanned a range of diverse topics.

Areas of focus

Vaccines and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

For nearly two decades, the Kid Risk team and collaborators have developed and applied integrated analytical models to support individual and public policy decisions related to vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly for polioviruses, measles, and rubella. This work continues to lead to multiple publications each year related to modeling and managing the transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases, and it represents a primary focus area for Kid Risk, Inc.

Injuries and Injury Prevention

Injuries represent the leading cause of mortality for children in developed countries. Dr. Thompson published research on children's motor vehicle risks, particularly related to airbags and child restraint seats. Dr. Thompson collaborated with Dr. Lois Lee from Children's Hospital Boston to explore the risks related to childhood drowning. Dr. Thompson also helped to quantify children's mouthing behavior.

Hospital Risks

Using data from a large pediatric hospital, Drs. Badizadegan and Thompson modeled pathology workload and complexity to manage risks and improve patient quality and safety. They previously characterized the value of information from non-focal colonic biopsies. Dr. Thompson collaborated with Dr. David Wendler and other researchers from the National Institutes of Health Department of Clinical Bioethics to provide context related to quantifying the federal minimal risk standard implications for pediatric research without a prospect of direct benefit.

Health Economics and Valuation

Dr. Thompson collaborated with Dr. Tracy Lieu to develop the Harvard-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Joint Initiative on Vaccine Economics (JIVE), which began with an effort to identify high-priority, emerging issues for economic research and ultimately led to the extensive and long-standing Kid Risk, Inc. research collaboration with the CDC related to the health economics of vaccines. Kid Risk, Inc. collaborated with Dr. Sachiko Ozawa to characterize the costs of interventions to increase immunization coverage.

Environmental Risks

Dr. Thompson developed data and methods for improved characterizations of the environmental risks experienced by children. Dr. Thompson served as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, the core Peer Consultation Panel for the EPA's Voluntary Children's Chemical Evaluation Program (VCCEP), and the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology and several of its study committees.

Entertainment media (Movies, Video Games and Ratings)

Dr. Thompson and her students provided rigorous, quantitative, and science-based approaches to assessing the content of entertainment media. Dr. Thompson developed a Media and Kids guide that aims to help consumers take charge of media and a media deconstruction activity to empower kids to take charge of the media in their lives. Our numerous studies on movies and video games received extensive media coverage. Dr. Thompson collaborated with Dr. Michael Rich to launch the Harvard Center on Media and Child Health.

Contact us to talk about children's health.