chILD Week


Welcome Message

Welcome to CHILD week at the ATS.  Children’s interstitial lung disease (CHILD) is a rare group of conditions where children have inflammation in their lungs; CHILD is also sometimes called children’s diffuse lung disease. Although, CHILD can occur as a result of another condition, such as immune deficiency, CHILD can also be its own distinct problem.  This form of CHILD is very rare, and it is estimated that it occurs in 1 out of every 300,000 children.  However, this rate might be an underestimate because many pediatricians may not be familiar with CHILD.  Most cases start in early infancy.  In the past, CHILD was viewed as children’s version of adult interstitial lung disease, but in recent years researchers and physicians have worked to increase our understanding of CHILD.  We now know that there is no single form of CHILD, but that there many different causes of CHILD.  In many cases, the exact cause of CHILD can be determined through a blood test to look at changes in the child’s genes.  In some cases though, it may be necessary to do a biopsy, which is a small surgery where a piece of the lung is taken out and examined under the microscope.  It is important to find out the cause of CHILD, because different forms of CHILD may be treated differently.  The ATS has played a vital role in educating both primary care and specialty pediatrics about CHILD to increase awareness of the disease and how to diagnose it.  Several articles on classification of CHILD have been published in ATS journals, such as the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  In 2013 the ATS sponsored and published clinical practice guidelines on how to diagnose and treat CHILD.  These guidelines have served as a valuable resource to physicians for how to recognize and management CHILD. 



Clement L. Ren, MD, MBA
Professor of Pediatrics
Indiana University
Riley Hospital for Children


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





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.