BALTIMORE—Amid concerns about economic stagnation and rising federal debt, an encouraging report released Monday by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that not protecting children very well saved the United States around $5 trillion over the last decade. “Our data shows that refraining from investments in expensive projects that improve or even simply maintain the health, safety, and overall well-being of this nation’s youth saves both federal and local governments billions of dollars per year,” said study co-author Erick Rosen, attributing the savings in part to lax regulations on companies using harmful chemicals in common foods and household items, avoiding improvements that would make roadways safer, and neglecting pediatric care. “While placing America’s children in an environment rife with treatable diseases, gun violence, and poverty may have its downsides, there is no denying the financial savings it generates. Importantly, these cost savings should continue to increase as long as this country continues to put off removing lead from pipes, repairing dangerous playgrounds, and improving the education system. Ultimately, there is a strong correlation between just kind of letting whatever happens to our children happen and a more cost-effective overall financial picture, and we expect this dynamic to continue.” A related study from Texas A&M University found that not protecting foreign children also offered numerous economic benefits, pointing to the billions of dollars in profits American companies generated by bombing them.