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The Child

While children’s health care needs and their parents’ concerns about their children’s health and safety are consistent across the United States, the health issues, access barriers, and risks may vary for rural and urban children. This section presents information on children’s health status, their access to and use of health care services, and their activities in and outside of school. Children’s health was measured through their parents’ reports of their overall health and oral health; their Body Mass Index (based on their age); whether or not young children were breastfed; the presence of one or more chronic conditions; and their social skills and behaviors.

Children’s access to and use of health care was measured through questions about children’s health insurance coverage and whether or not it is adequate to meet their needs; their use of preventive health care, dental care, and mental health services; and whether their care meets the standards of the “medical home.”

Children’s participation in activities in school and in the community represents another important aspect of their well-being. The survey asked about children’s school performance, including participation in early intervention or special education, their engagement with school, and whether or not they had repeated a grade, as well as their activities outside of school, including volunteering, working for pay, reading for pleasure, physical activity, and screen time.

This section includes the following indicator divisions:

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