The World Trade Center Environmental Health Center has a pediatric program dedicated to the assessment and treatment of WTC-related conditions in children and adolescents. Our pediatric program is located at Bellevue Hospital on First Avenue and 27th Street. The Center's pediatric program is comprised of several different services including pediatrics, child psychology, and creative arts therapy.
The World Trade Center Environmental Health Center is a Center of Excellence and works closely with community organizations and residents affected by 9/11. Your child can get treatment even if you cannot pay or don't have health insurance.
What are the kinds of health problems that children might have because of 9/11?
We are still learning about the effects of the 9/11 events on children's medical health. Medical problems that may be related to 9/11 include respiratory difficulties, sinus disease, nasal congestion, and gastrointestinal reflux. Potential WTC-related symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, wheezing, heartburn, indigestion, sinus congestion, and headaches.
Children may also have psychological or behavioral problems related to their or their family’s 9/11 experience. These problems can be a result of their direct exposure on 9/11 or in response to a family member’s 9/11-related medical or mental health issues. Common problems include symptoms of anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues.
Individuals who are currently 18 years or older should be assessed in our adult WTC program. The WTC Environmental Health Center has locations at Bellevue Hospital, Gouverneur Healthcare Services in Lower Manhattan, and Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. These three sites continue to treat adults experiencing health problems as a result of exposure to dust and smoke from the WTC attack.
How do I know if my child’s health symptoms are related to 9/11 WTC exposure?
It is difficult to know if health problems are specifically related to 9/11. If you think your child may have a health problem related to 9/11, call for an appointment: 1-888-WTC-4748. Our staff will ask you a series of questions to determine whether our program is right for your child.
Is this a research program?
The main purpose of this program is to provide health care for children with 9/11-related health problems. When your child comes in for an exam, your family will be given the opportunity to help us learn more about WTC-related illnesses by becoming part of research to understand 9/11 health effects. You will have the opportunity to sign a consent form to have your child’s clinical information used for this research. Your child’s name and personal contact information will not be used. Your decision of whether or not your child participates in the research program will have no impact on the healthcare your child receives.
How do I get an appointment for my child?
If you are new to the program call the toll free number 1-888-WTC-4748. If you are an existing patient, please call the specific clinic where you already get care. You may speak to an operator or will get connected to voicemail and will be asked to leave a message including a telephone number and the best time to contact you.
What will happen at my child’s first appointment?
Your child’s first appointment will last several hours and will include a full medical evaluation and examination, a medical health screening, and a variety of tests assessing for potential WTC-related symptoms. These tests may include blood work, x-rays, and breathing tests. After the initial evaluation, a multi-disciplinary treatment plan is developed to treat any WTC-related conditions. Your child may then need more follow-up visits to treat any 9/11-related conditions.
How much will my child's care cost?
Treatment and most medications for your child's WTC-related illness are provided at no out-of-pocket cost to you.
What if my child has illnesses that are not related to 9/11?
The pediatric team at the WTC Environmental Health Center will refer you to other clinical services for any needs not related to WTC exposure. We are committed to providing quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of ability to pay, insurance or immigration status.
What if my child does not have any current medical problems?
This is a treatment program for children who have active symptoms. It is not a screening or a monitoring program for children who have no health problems.
Where can I get more information about 9/11 health issues?
Visit the New York City Department of Health website, www.nyc.gov/health, for additional information and resources.