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Welcome from HRSA

Dear Colleagues:

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau is pleased to present this chart book highlighting the major findings of the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. The survey presents National- and State-level information on the health and well-being of children and their families and communities.

The survey includes good news about the health and well-being of our children. Overall, 84.4 percent of children are reported to be in excellent or very good health and 88.5 percent receive an annual preventive health care checkup. Children’s health and development is also influenced by their home, school, and family environments, and the findings in these areas are encouraging as well: parents report that 80.5 percent of school-aged children were engaged in school, and 84.2 percent read for pleasure on a typical day. Most parents express confidence in their communities as well: according to their parents, 83.2 percent of children live in neighborhoods that are supportive of them, 86.0 percent are safe in their neighborhood, and 89.6 percent are safe at school.

The survey also highlights areas where room remains for improvement. Children’s oral health lags behind their physical health: the parents of 70.7 percent of children report that their children’s teeth were in excellent or very good condition, and only 78.4 percent received a dental checkup in the past year. Of children whose parents report that they have an emotional, behavioral, or developmental problem that required treatment, only 60.0 percent received mental health services. Access to needed health services is a particular concern for children who do not have health insurance; nearly 10 percent of children are uninsured, and 15.1 percent had a gap in their health insurance in the past year. Over one-quarter of children (26.2 percent) live in households where someone smokes. The survey highlights a number of populations of children who are particularly vulnerable to health risks, including children without health insurance, children in low-income households, and children with special health care needs.

The Health Resources and Services Administration hopes that these findings provide a new perspective on children’s health and well-being and are a useful guidepost in your efforts to address child health issues.

Sincerely,

Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
Administrator, Department of Health and Human Services


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