Doctors group recommends support for transgender children

A doctors group took a stand in support of transgender children Monday, offering advice in what it called “a rapidly evolving” field.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended support for kids who change their names or hairstyles to affirm their chosen gender identity. The group said children are more likely to have better physical and mental health with such support.

The policy describes interventions including hormones to suppress puberty and even surgery for teens on a case-by-case basis. It calls for advocacy in favor of laws protecting transgender youth from discrimination.

The recommendations, published in the journal Pediatrics, come at a time when the Trump administration has put the brakes on such protections.

A study earlier this year found nearly 3 percent of U.S. youth identify as transgender or by other nontraditional gender terms.

The doctors group, which represents 67,000 physicians who treat children and young adults, previously has made public statements in response to so-called bathroom legislation involving transgender people, but this is its first policy statement.

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Follow AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson on Twitter: @CarlaKJohnson

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