Monitoring the health status of infants, children, and adolescents allows health professionals, program planners, and policymakers to assess the impact of past and current health intervention and prevention programs and identify areas of need within the child population. Although indicators of child health and well-being are often assessed on an annual basis, some surveillance systems collect data at regular intervals, such as every 2, 4, or 5 years. Trends can be identified by examining and comparing data from one data collection period to the next whenever multiple years of data are available.
In the following section, mortality, disease, injury, and health behavior indicators are presented by age group. The health status indicators in this section are based on vital statistics and national surveys and surveillance systems. Population-based samples are designed to yield information that is representative of the maternal and child populations that are affected by, or in need of, specific health services or interventions.