CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS
Based on the 2001 National Survey of Children with Special Health
Care Needs, it is estimated that 12.8 percent of children have special
health care needs. Children with special health care needs (CSHCN)
are defined by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau as those who
have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental,
behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and
related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children
generally. Based on this definition, the survey estimated that 9.4
million children in the U.S. have special health care needs.
The conditions of CSHCN vary in their impact on children’s
ability to function. The parents of 23.2 percent of CSHCN report
that their children’s conditions affect their abilities usually,
always, or a great deal; 37.4 percent report that their children’s
conditions sometimes affect their abilities; and 39.4 percent report
that their children’s conditions never affect their activities.
State-level data on the prevalence of CSHCN can be found in the
National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Chartbook.