10 Simple Steps for Reducing Toxic Stress in the Classroom

We all know that when children aren’t well, they’re less likely to learn.

More and more teachers recognize that children who can’t sit still in class, act out, or have asthma may be showing warning signs of a toxic exposure to childhood trauma.

More than two decades ago, landmark research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente found that exposure to adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs—ranging from parental addiction to abuse, neglect, or divorce—can have lasting effects on children’s health. These ACEs can lead to abnormal levels of stress hormones—a condition known by doctors as toxic stress, which increases kids’ risk of serious illnesses including asthma and diabetes, as well as long-term problems including heart disease and cancer later in life.

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