Prevalence of Conditions

Children may have chronic physical or mental health problems, such as asthma or anxiety, which may have an impact on the child’s well-being. Overall, parents of 23.6 percent of children reported that they had been told by a health care provider that their child had, and their child currently had, at least one of a list of 18 chronic health conditions, and of these children, 40.7 percent had more than one condition (data not shown). Of the children who currently have at least one condition from the list of 18, nearly half (49.8 percent) were reported to have at least one condition that was moderate or severe in its impact on the child. It is important to note that these are parents’ reports of their children’s conditions and were not confirmed with medical records.

Asthma was the most often reported condition, occurring among 1 out of every 11.4 children, followed closely by learning disabilities (1 in 12.5 children aged 3-17 years). Attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADD/ADHD, was also relatively common, reported among 1 in 12.7 children aged 2-17 years, as were speech problems (1 in 20.8 children aged 2-17 years). Vision problems that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses were reported among 1 in 76.9 children, while autism spectrum disorders occurred among 1 in 55.6 children aged 2-17 years. The least commonly reported conditions addressed in the survey were Tourette syndrome (occurring in 1 in 500 children aged 2-17 years), cerebral palsy (also 1 in 500 children aged 2-17 years), and epilepsy or seizure disorder (occurring in 1 in 1,000 children of all ages).