2007 North Carolina Child Health Report Card

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Today, Action for Children North Carolina and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine are pleased to announce the publication of the 2007 North Carolina Child Health Report Card, which demonstrates that while North Carolina’s efforts to ensure positive health outcomes for children and youth have shown improvement in many areas, there is still cause for concern. Data from the report highlight the following:–Of North Carolina’s 2.1 million children (age 0-18), 20% continue to live in poverty and 13.2% remain uninsured due to the continued loss of employer-based insurance for dependents, amplifying the need for further expansion of access to affordable health care coverage;
–Access to dental care continues to be a major problem, with 1-in-5 kindergarteners suffering from untreated tooth decay;
–The percentage of children who are overweight continues to worsen at alarming rates, despite recent efforts to combat this problem;
–The number of teen pregnancies has declined dramatically, reflecting a national trend; however, racial disparities on this indicator are disturbingly wide, requiring targeted efforts in addition to health programs to narrow these gaps; and
–While the infant death and overall child death rates are the lowest ever recorded, the increase in child abuse homicides is one of the report’s most unsettling findings, requiring increased supports for parents to be woven the fabric of our health care system, schools and communities.
The Health Report Card is also available on the websites of Action for Children and the Institute of Medicine, www.ncchild.org and www.nciom.org, respectively.