The “Vulnerable Child” and Chronic Illness

2015_10_14 Vulnerable child squareEvery concerned parent worries about the health of their child. We know that children are naturally more susceptible to toxic insults that can cause illness because they are proportionately smaller, and their tissues and organs are still developing. Although no one can predict the future, it may be possible to prevent some forms of chronic illness by looking at certain fundamental health differences and potential risk factors.

Who is a vulnerable child?

The vulnerable child is the driving force behind why Barry Segal founded the Focus for Health Foundation.

I saw a major need to advocate for the protection of this vulnerable population – children who were more susceptible to developing autism and other neurological disorders after being exposed to environmental toxins, heavy metals, vaccination, and other immunological triggers.”

– Barry Segal

Childhood chronic illnesses such as asthma and allergies, along with developmental learning disorders such as autism and ADHD, are on the rise in the U.S.

The trend is a major concern because children who suffer from one medical issue are often at higher risk for other disorders that are different in nature. Awareness of these connections can help define a vulnerable population. The vulnerable child may have a compromised immune system and could be at greater risk for developing chronic illnesses.

How do I know if my child is a vulnerable child?

Here are the questions you should ask yourself:

  • Does my child have a family history of chronic illness?
  • Does my child seem to get sick easily?
  • Does my child frequently take antibiotics for illnesses?
  • Does my child have food allergies?
  • Does my child have eczema?
  • Does my child have frequent ear infections?
  • Does my child have seizures?
  • Does my child have developmental delays?

Learn More About Red Flags

Vulnerability often increases with family history, developmental delays or certain medical conditions. This subset of children who are more vulnerable to chronic illnesses and developmental learning disorders may also be more vulnerable to negative side effects from drugs, medications or vaccines.

Dr. Bernadine Healy, former National Institutes of Health Director, addressed the importance of acknowledging and identifying the vulnerable population in an interview with CBS:

“What we’re seeing in the bulk of the population: vaccines are safe. But there may be this susceptible group. […] If you know that susceptible group, you can save those children.”

Environment and Health

Some chronic illnesses can last for years or even a lifetime as a result of genetics (family history) and/or exposure to environmental influences. We tend to underestimate the environmental impact on our health. Although we may be genetically predisposed to certain illnesses, environmental exposures can heavily influence gene expression and how sick we get.

To protect these vulnerable children, toxic exposures should be limited.

Learn More About “The Vulnerable Child”

Stay Informed. . . Stay Healthy!

Join the Conversation

your thoughts matter

This article was written in collaboration with the FFH team and Sheri A. Marino MA, CCC-SLP.


George Bjornson

Autism is doubling every 8 years, but autism authorities refuse to admit that we have an autism epidemic, and they are unable to find what is causing autism. There is abundant evidence that vaccines cause the neurological damage of autism.

Jackie Horton

Yes. We need to get to the bottom of this now. 9 billion a year is spent on services for people with ASD. What are we doing to our children????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


My vulnerable child is now an adult with major disabilities and parents who are getting older. We cannot find qualified medical doctors who can treat him or help him. SSI pays $600 per month – will he be able to survive without me?

Deng Jacob Akol

What can we do when is very vunernable in term of health status . And you as a parents you get worried about your child ,what adverse can you gives us for that.


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