chILD Week

chILD Week

Welcome Message

Children's interstitial lung disease (chILD) is a diverse group of conditions in which the lung tissue and air sacs that supports gas exchange - the principal role of the lungs for life - becomes inflamed, disarranged and fibrotic, taking on almost scar-like properties. The chILD group is rare and difficult to classify, making estimation of incidence difficult, but it appears that 0.13–16.2 cases of chILD/100,000 children occurs per year. Mortality rate for individuals with chILD is also difficult to determine precisely, but for developed countries it ranges from 6–19%.

There are key differences between chILDs and ILDs in adults, which has led to a level of confusion with respect to the naming, classification and management of chILDs. In fact, a recent review found that at four different chILD classification systems have been proposed in the past decade. To add clarity, the American Thoracic Society Committee on chILD and the chILD Research Network have endorsed the term "chILD syndrome" disseminate a clearer set of criteria for diagnosis of diffuse lung disease phenotypes in infants. This is needed because chILD encompasses diverse pathologies that are unique to young children and, in particular, infants under 2 years of age.

Research is needed because chILDs have chronic health impact, are associated with high morbidity, and have life-long impact on lung health and disease-risk so come with sustained negative impact on families and burden on health services. National and international studies that include the active disease surveillance and creates complementary patient registries is required to advance understanding and management of chILD. More research is also needed to understand the cause and pathophysiology of chILD, and perhaps develop disease biomarkers.

We welcome "Childhood Interstitial Lung Diseases Week at the ATS" and our partnership in this awareness campaign applauding its focus on childhood interstitial and diffuse lung diseases (chILD). We look forward to sharing information that will help guide families, advance research, and support clinicians and allied health professionals in their efforts to cure these conditions.


Andrew Halayko, PhD

Andrew Halayko, PhD
Chair, ATS Awards Committee
Member, American Thoracic Society

Greg Porta

Greg Porta
Founder and President, chILD Foundation
Immediate Past Chair, ATS Public Advisory Roundtable





The mission of the chILD Foundation is to accelerate research to cure all forms of Children’s Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease (chILD) and to provide compassionate support, education, and hope to children and families affected by these life-altering diseases.