Positive experiences in an infant’s life significantly impact their growth and development, even years down the line. However, this means that negative experiences and chronic stressors do as well, but adversely. The topic of toxic stress and its effects on infants and toddlers is one New Jersey takes seriously; in fact, one organization in particular – The Nicholson Foundation – is tackling the issue head-on.

Dr. Arturo Brito, executive director of The Nicholson Foundation, recently spoke to Steve Adubato about the problem. During a set visit to Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato, Dr. Brito passionately brought up two topics; the importance of positive experiences from birth to age three, and the problematic dangers of negative experiences.

The Nicholson Foundation Discusses Dangers of Toxic Stress for Infants and Toddlers

Dr. Brito’s background is in pediatrics, and his experiences with parents have proven the points he now advocates.

“…there’s one thing I found consistent with every single parent I saw, regardless of what background, regardless of what culture, regardless of what socio-economic circumstance they were in, is that every parent wants their child to grow and develop to his or her potential,” Dr. Brito explains.

Dr. Brito of The Nicholson Foundation Discusses Dangers of Toxic Stress for Infants and Toddlers
Thanks to the Turrell Fund and Right From the Start NJ for making this video possible

To give kids this opportunity, parents must make efforts to minimize “toxic stressors” in children’s lives. These stressors can include violence inside and outside of the home, emotional or physical neglect and exposure to crime. In addition to these seemingly obvious stressors, The Nicholson Foundation wants to educate parents about other pitfalls; meanwhile, they want to offer solutions to minimize these stressors.

The episode is part of the Right From the Start NJ (RFTS) campaign, which the Nicholson Foundation strongly supports. RFTS’s goal is to educate the public about early baby and child development in order to promote positive parenting trends.

“‘Right From the Start’ means that we really need to be focused on those first few years of life,” says Dr. Brito, “because they’re so critical to not only the child at that time, but there can be lifelong consequences for that child if we don’t do a better job of making sure that every child in the State of New Jersey has the potential to grow to his or her ability.”

Want to learn more about these stressors, the Nicholson Foundation and RFTS? Then check out this segment of Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato.

After that, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series for more stories that impact New Jersey residents.

Caucus Educational Corporation

  • Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato / Caucus Educational Corporation
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