Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse childhood experiences, commonly called ACEs, can have lasting health impacts. Children who are subjected to abuse, violence, deprivation, hunger, or other traumatic experiences can carry the scars with them over a lifetime.

Kids running

Sixty-two percent of Washington adults report one or more adverse childhood experiences. We know that the more ACEs a person experiences, the greater his or her risk is for alcoholism, teen pregnancy, poverty, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, divorce, HIV infection, mental illness, and many other conditions. That’s why Clark County Public Health, the Public Health Advisory Council, and other organizations in Clark County are working to prevent ACEs, promote awareness of the problem and find community solutions. The earlier we can address ACEs in individuals, the better our chances are of promoting healing and resilience.

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris's presentation "How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime" explains how this trauma effects the developing brains of children and has the potential to impact their health in later years.

ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are serious childhood traumas that can result in toxic
stress. Prolonged exposure to ACEs can create toxic stress, which can damage the developing brain
and body of children and affect overall health. The "Understanding ACEs" handout has more information about ACEs affects on children and is provided in English, Spanish, Arabic, Dari and Farsi.

For more information, contact the Chronic Disease Prevention team.

ACEs handout graphic


ACEs Action Alliance


The ACEs Action Alliance is a collaborative of individuals, non-profits, educational personnel and private organizations that work together to promote a trauma-informed, resilient Clark County.

Their meeting dates and related information are provided in the Healthy Communities newsletter that is sent the first of every month to subscribers. A link to subscribe to this newsletter is provided, below. Past issues are available on this page.

The ACEs Action Alliance is changing their name and their website is currently down for maintenance.

Healthy Communities Newsletters