Saturday, June 21, 2008

Top 10 Childhood Health Concerns Are Preventable

According to a National Online Survey administered by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, smoking, drug abuse and childhood obesity are the Top 10 US Childhood Health Concerns.

The poll, administered last year, surveyed 2,000 adults & asked them to rank their concerns. The list is pretty revealing, considering that internet safety is now considered a health problem, & that childhood obesity made the Top 3, ahead of alcohol abuse & teen pregnancy. Another thing to note is that all of the "concerns" on this Top 10 List are entirely preventable problems.

1. Smoking. Forty percent of adults rated smoking as their top health concern for children.

2. Drug Abuse. Adults were more likely to rate drug abuse as a concern based on their children's emotional health. Those who reported their child's emotional health as "good," "fair" or "poor" were more likely to view drug abuse as a major health problem for children compared with parents who rated their child's emotional health as "excellent" or "very good," according to the study.

3. Childhood Obesity. According to poll results, adults with a higher education were more likely to rate childhood obesity as their No. 1 health issue for children than adults with high school education or less.

4. Alcohol Abuse. "Households with lower incomes less than $30,000 per year are significantly more likely to rate alcohol abuse as a problem than families with higher annual incomes," according to Dr. Matthew Davis, who conducted the survey. "We also found that alcohol abuse by teens was a bigger concern in households with a single or divorced parent, compared with households with married parents."

5. Motor Vehicle Accidents. Driving accidents involving teenagers are a universal concern across all socio-economic groups

6. Teen Pregnancy. This is one of those Good News/Bad News deals. Although teen pregnancy made the Top 10 List, Dr. Davis reported that rates continue to fall across ethnic groups & income levels.

7. Internet Safety. Thirty-two percent of women and 21 percent of men reported they were concerned about Internet safety.

8. School Violence. The poll measured school violence concerns a month before last year's tragedy at Virginia Tech, so it is likely that it may rank higher now than it did last year, according to Dr. Davis.

9. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. STDs were considered a problem across ethnic groups, but households with lower incomes also rated these infections as a greater health concern for children than households with moderate or high incomes.

10. Abuse and Neglect. About 22 percent of survey respondents viewed abuse and neglect as a health concern for children.

This poll is a heads-up for parents, teachers, community leaders & even the federal government. Parental involvement in kids' lives still appears to be the best way to combat these ills. Targeted government involvement--at the local, state & national levels--could help, too. The Prevent Defense can be more than just a football strategy.


Corey~living and loving said...

looks like an interesting blog you have started here. :)
thanks for your comment on my blog today.

Sigh...there certainly is a lot to worry about when it comes to our children's health.
have a good weekend!

Veggie Mom said...

Corey: You're sure right about that! Come visit later this week & I'll share some sweet secrets on childhood nutrition!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog... You have a great thing going here, and I share many of the same concerns. I love your pop'rs - so cool!

Veggie Mom said...

mikki roo: Stay tuned to this space for some giveaway action that you & your kids will love!

Genny said...

I enjoyed stopping by your blog. I always love getting good info on nutrition for my kiddos. Thanks for stopping by!

Veggie Mom said...

genny: I'll keep blogging! More info on family fun to come!

ConverseMomma said...

I love seeing a blog like this with real purpose and information. Rock on Veggie Mom!

Veggie Mom said...

converse: Thanks mucho! If you come across any interesting tidbits that I should include in this blog, feel free to share! :)

Anonymous said...

Among the eight components of a CSHP model are Physical Education and Family and Community Involvement. GAO studies show that the program strategy identified by experts as most important to prevent or reduce childhood obesity is "increasing physical activity," and that parental and social support for physical activity is associated with increased physical activity.

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