The American Academy of Pediatrics officially opposes using tear gas on infants and toddlers, in a rebuke of the Trump administration.
Pediatricians slammed the Trump administration for their "inhumane treatment" of infants and toddlers after news reports of tear gas being used against children and families.
"Immigrant children are still children, and they deserve our compassion and assistance," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in a statement. "We will continue to speak out against their inhumane treatment and advocate for their safety."
The AAP represents 67,000 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The group was "stunned and shaken" at images of families with young children, many of whom are seeking asylum, on the receiving end of U.S.-launched tear gas.
Using chemical weapons against infants and toddlers in diapers "goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health," the group says.
Children are smaller and breathe more rapidly than adults, which combines to "magnif[y] the harm of agents such as tear gas," the AAP says, explaining the science behind their objection to the Trump administration's attack on children.
In addition to the physical harm, the AAP is worried about the psychological ramifications of Trump's xenophobic anti-immigrant stance.
"Many of these children are fleeing conditions that threaten their health and safety; they have taken harrowing journeys to seek refuge in our country," the group says. "Our government must take extra precautions when it comes to children."
Unfortunately, the Trump administration has shown a callous disregard for the well-being of children.
Over the summer, Trump's anti-immigrant deterrence plan consisted of ripping children away from their families for weeks and even months. Even though the administration knew of the potential harms, Trump pressed forward with the family separation policy anyway.
Unlike the Trump administration, the AAP "recommends that all immigrant children and families seeking safe haven are treated with dignity and respect to protect their health and well-being."
Using tear gas on children shocks the conscience, and Trump's regime needs to listen to pleas of pediatricians and stop these inhumane activities.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.