The Child

While children’s health care needs and their parents’ concerns about their children’s health and safety were consistent across the United States, the health issues, access barriers, and risks may vary for rural and urban children. This section presents information on the sociodemographic characteristics of children by location, health status, access to and use of health care services, and activities in and outside of school.

Children’s health was measured through their parents’ reports of their overall health and oral health, whether they were born prematurely, their risk of developmental delay and their parents’ concerns about their development, their body mass index (based on their age and sex), whether young children were breastfed, and the presence of one or more chronic conditions.

Children’s access to and use of health care was measured through questions about children’s health insurance coverage; whether they were continually covered over the previous year; whether their insurance is adequate to meet their needs; their use of preventive health care, dental care, and mental health services; whether young children received a standard developmental screen; 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 how often young children played with their peers; children’s school performance, including participation in early intervention or special education, their engagement with school, and whether they had repeated a grade; and their activities outside of school, including volunteering, working for pay, reading for pleasure, and time spent watching TV or videos.

This section includes the following sub-sections:

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