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Join us for the Kids Risk Symposium
Managing Children's Risks: It Takes a Commitment
A Symposium for Parents, Child Health Professionals, Educators, Business Leaders, Policy-makers, Teachers, Consumers, Journalists, and People Who Love Kids

March 26 and 27, 2003

8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
at the Harvard University Memorial/Annenberg Hall
45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(between Cambridge St. and Kirkland St.
and a 5-minute walk from the Harvard Square T-stop)

Meeting Information: From birth through adolescence, today's children face a wide range of risks that change as they grow. The Kids Risk Project focuses on understanding the risks to children recognizing the importance of using an analytical approach to characterize and address their risks. Ultimately the project will provide a risk catalogue for children's risks that will help children, parents, policy makers, and others compare children's risks and strategies for reducing those risks. Currently the Kids Risk Project has on-going research in several areas including injury prevention, medical risks, environmental hazards, and depiction of risks in entertainment media, and this symposium will include release of some of the project's research.

This symposium will include presentations of current Kids Risk Project research to be released at the meeting and presentations from leaders in business, government, consumer organizations, foundations, and the health community. The objectives of the symposium include:

1. Increasing recognition of the critical role of good data and risk analysis in empowering kids, parents, and policy makers to make better choices in managing childrens risks,
2. Beginning discussions to encourage the development of real partnerships to reduce risks for children and prioritize the national agenda, and
3. Providing a clear message for why we should be very optimistic about the future of our children.

Meeting Agenda:

March 26, 2003
8:00 Registration and continental breakfast
8:30 Welcome Barry R. Bloom, PhD, Professor and Dean, Harvard School of Public Health
8:45 Welcome Judith Palfrey, MD, Chief, Division of General Pediatrics, T. Berry Brazelton Professor, Harvard Medical School, and Director, Harvard Children's Initiative
9:00 Overview of the Kids Risk Project - Empowering kids, parents, and policy makers with information about risk Kimberly Thompson, ScD
10:30 Break
10:45 Understanding our commitments - How much do kids count? Presentations by William O'Hare, PhD, Kids Count Coordinator, The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kimberly Thompson, ScD
11:30 Corporate leadership and improving children's lives: A business perspective on this long-standing commitment Michele Courton Brown, President, FleetBoston Financial Foundation
12:00 The business of making education effective and entertaining Tom Kalinske, President, Knowledge Universe and Chairman, LeapFrog Enterprises
12:30 Lunch
1:45 Collaboration and the role of research in the middle of the consumer-industry-regulator triangle Kimberly Thompson, ScD
2:00 The importance of good analyses of children's risks in consumer education and advocacy Heather Paul, PhD, Executive Director, National SAFE KIDS
2:45 The importance of good analyses of children's risks in consumer product regulation Harold Stratton, Chairman, Consumer Product Safety Commission
3:15 Break
3:30 Panel discussion: How can we use good science and risk analysis to work together and better manage children's risks?
5:00 Highlights of the day George Lundberg, MD, Editor, MedGenMed and Special Healthcare Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of WebMD

March 27, 2003

8:00 Continental breakfast
8:30 Welcome and introduction to the morning's hot topics Kimberly Thompson, ScD
8:45 Translating research into public health practice Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD, Professor, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, and Director of the Division for Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health
9:00 Children's nutritional risks in context: Distinguishing big and small risks Dennis M. Bier, MD, Professor, Baylor College of Medicine and Director, USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center
9:45 Children and vaccines Alan Hinman, MD, Principal Investigator of All Kids Count, Task Force for Child Survival and Development
10:15 Break
10:30 The National Children's Study: Better data and better decisions Peter Scheidt, MD, MPH, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
11:00 Getting to work: Making real improvements for children Peter Samuelson, Founder of Starlight, Starbright, and First Star Foundations
11:30 Perspectives from pediatricians Birt Harvey, MD, Carden Johnston, MD, FAAP
12:30 Lunch Media and Child Health: Announcement of a new Center at Children's Hospital, Boston Jean Emans, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, and James Mandell, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Children's Hospital Boston
1:30 Media and child health: Peril and promise Michael Rich, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Director of the VIA Project
2:30 Media and children's brains John Murray, PhD, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Kansas State University
3:00 Break
3:15 Reaching out to children with positive messages to encourage good choices Neil Shulman, MD, the real Doc Hollywood
3:45 Creating positive pro-health messages for kids - the role of mentors Jay Winsten, PhD, Frank Stanton Center Director and Associate Dean for Public and Community Affairs, Director of the Center for Health Communication and of the Harvard Mentoring Project at the Harvard School of Public Health
4:30 Violence as entertainment is a public health issue United States Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas
5:00 Highlights of the day George Lundberg, MD, Editor, MedGenMed and Special Healthcare Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of WebMD
5:20 Closing: The end of the beginning Kimberly Thompson, ScD

Registration: The registration fee for the conference is $150. To register by mail and pay by check, please print and complete the registration form (pdf) and mail it by March 15, 2003.

To register quickly and securely on-line using a credit card, please complete the following two items and then pay using PayPal

Please note that cancellations after March 15, 2003 will result in the conference materials being sent to the registered participant following the meeting with no refund of the registration fee. Cancellations prior to March 15, 2003 will be refunded except for any fees associated with processing the payment and the refund. The on-site registration fee is $200 (on a space available basis). Please e-mail Dr. Kimberly Thompson at: kimt@hsph.harvard.edu with any questions and to inquire about space availability after March 15, 2003. Members of the press should contact Kevin Myron in the HSPH Office for Communications at 617-432-3952 or by e-mail at: kmyron@hsph.harvard.edu for information about the meeting and to receive a press kit.

Accommodations: The Sheraton Commander Hotel at 16 Garden Street in Cambridge, MA 02138, phone: 617-547-4800, fax: 617-234-1396 has made a block of rooms available at the rates of $150 per night for a single room or $170 per night for a double room. Please contact the Sheraton reservations at 1-888-627-7121 by 5 PM on February 23, 2003 and mention that you are part of the Kids Risk Group to get these rates. This hotel is within walking distance of Harvard University Memorial/Annenberg Hall.

Click here for a printable flyer/registration form for the symposium

Event archives:

On October 5, 2001 Professors Kimberly M. Thompson and Michael Rich hosted a day-long symposium on Media and Child Health: Peril and Promise sponsored by Children's Hospital Boston, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Harvard Children's Initiative. The agenda for this day-long symposium brought together leading Harvard researchers, child health providers, and national leaders exploring the relationships between TV, movies, music, and video games and the physical and mental health of children and youth. (This symposium served to catalyze the formation of a new Center on Media and Child Health that will be announced at the Kids Risk Symposium on the afternoon of March 27, 2003.)

News archives:

Want to know about the content of E-rated video games? The study by Professor Kimberly M. Thompson and Kevin Haninger, BA, explored this question in a paper called Violence in E-Rated Video Games published in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation (pdf file). Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions about this study, and visit the links page to see related sites.

Want to know how much depiction of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances appears in G-rated animated films? The study by Professor Kimberly M. Thompson and Fumie Yokota, MS, explored this question in a paper called Depiction of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Substances in G-Rated Animated Films published in Pediatrics (pdf file). Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions about this study, and visit the links page to see related sites.

Interested in how much violence appears in G-rated animated films? The study by Fumie Yokota, MS, and Professor Kimberly M. Thompson explored this question in a paper called Violence in G-Rated Animated Films published in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation (pdf file). Check the coverage from CNN, read answers to frequently asked questions about this study, and visit the links page to see related sites, including links to the reports on marketing violent entertainment to children issued by the Federal Trade Commission.

Ever wonder how much time young children spend putting objects in their mouths? A study by Daland R. Juberg, Kathleen Alfano, Robert J. Coughlin, and Kimberly M. Thompson called An Observational Study of Object Mouthing Behavior by Young Children published in Pediatrics (pdf file) answers this question.

Check out the list of over 50 ways to reduce children's risks that is mentioned in the April RISK IN PERSPECTIVE by Kimberly M. Thompson called Kids at Risk (pdf). This piece is based on the guide called Doing Our Best for Children: A Guide for Evaluating Hazard Claims and Setting Priorities that Dr. Thompson wrote with funding from the National Consumers League and released at the National Consumers League's symposium on January 12, 2000 held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on "Analyzing the Threats to Children from Consumer Products: A Symposium on Risk Assessment and Risk Communication" that you can find on the For Adults page.