Child Health Day (October 1, 2012)
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
How is the health of today’s American Child?
Living in a developed country, we would assume that child health in America is the best available. Here are some statistics.
- 27% of American children today live in a household where there is no one with a full time job with health benefits.
- 7% of American children are uninsured.
- The United States is 29th in Infant Mortality rate, in comparison with other developed countries
Health insurance through an employer, third party insurance company, or Medicaid is very important in the health of a child. Otherwise, one illness or trip to the hospital could completely wipe out a family’s savings.
The statistic in infant mortality rate is linked to an increase in American premature births at the beginning of this century. There are also 750,000 women per year who give birth and do not have insurance. Without prenatal insurance, these women have likely had little to no care during gestation.
Also, according to the Children’s Defense Fund, many children are not getting their immunizations on time. In fact, at the age of two, 1:3 African American and 1:4 Latin American children are not given the proper immunizations.
The obesity and diabetes epidemic are also weighing on the health of today’s American Child. America used to call Diabetes Type I “Juvenile Diabetes,” because it could be found in childhood. We assumed that Diabetes Type II was reserved for adults, because it is usually associated with poor diet choices and other lifestyle habits. However, the incidences are higher and higher for Diabetes Type II in children. The statistics differ among different cross sections of the country, but there is a constant rise among incidences. The childhood obesity problem, at 20% of our youth, is the root cause of the Diabetes Type II problem.
The Health Resources and Services Administration for the United States provides wonderful opportunities for those affected by any threat to a mother or child’s health.
Through outreach and direct programs, the HRSA helps child health by providing families with health care, information, and infrastructure to build communities of health and wellness.
With all of these pressures on American parents, what can we do to help keep our children healthy?
- Keep our children up to date on check ups, shots, and insurance.
- Model good nutrition at home so that they make good choices elsewhere.
- Make fitness part of your family life.
- Help those in need. Serve in the Boys and Girls Club of America, or find a similar service organization or association near you that helps children in need.