The Child

The National Survey of Children’s Health measures children’s health status, their health care, and their activities in and outside of school. Taken together, these measures provide a snapshot of children’s health and well-being that represents a range of aspects of their lives.

Children’s health status was measured through parents’ or caregivers' reports of their children’s overall health, as well as whether they currently have specific conditions, such as asthma, autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder. In addition, parents were asked about their concerns regarding their children’s development and behavior, whether their child was screened for problems in these areas, and whether those who needed mental health services received them.

Children’s access to health care and parents’ satisfaction with the health care that their children receive were measured through questions about children’s health insurance coverage, their use of preventive medical and dental services, and their access to needed mental health services. Several survey questions were combined to assess whether children had a “medical home,” a source of primary care that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.

Children’s participation in activities in school and in the community represents another important aspect of their well-being. The survey addressed whether young children often played with children their own age, and whether school-aged children were engaged in school and had ever repeated a grade. In addition, parents were asked about their children’s participation in activities such as reading for pleasure, volunteering and working for pay, as well as other activities outside of school.

This section includes the following indicators: