Child Health In The U.S.
The United States is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is usually seen as a beacon of prosperity amongst many, and some may assume that the people are healthy, especially children. Of course, children in the US may not be facing the kinds of afflictions that kids in less developed countries are facing, but that does not mean the lives of American children are perfect. In fact, there are a number of conditions that kids are dealing with here, such as obesity and chronic illnesses, just to name a few.
To learn more, checkout the infographic above created by Ohio University’s Online Master of Science in Nursing degree program.
U.S. Families Have Something to be Thankful For
Thankfully for children in the United States, 94 percent of children have some type of health insurance. Although it is unfortunate that 6 percent of the children in this country are not covered, the rate of uninsured children is dropping.
The healthcare system has been able to ensure that 83 percent of kids between the ages of 5 and 11 are in good health. One reason why healthcare is so effective is because the healthcare system focuses on preventative care.
Some healthcare professionals try to teach parents about preventative care and even natural care. For example, dentists teach parents about proper tooth-brushing techniques. This includes tips like brushing away from the gums or brushing for at least two minutes. These types of tips help prevent cavities or gingivitis.
Physicians are also doing their best to provide parents with information regarding kids health and proper development. Parents now know how important exercise is for a kid’s development. Studies show that this helps prevent obesity and even diabetes, though these are just some of the benefits.
It is clear that the people of this country are attempting to do their best.
The Issues With U.S. Kids and Healthcare
Currently, twenty-nine countries are considered to be the richest in the world. The US is near the bottom at number 26. Unfortunately, the care of children is also at the bottom among these developed countries.
In 2011, 24,000 infants died, and a third of these tragic deaths were related to issues with premature births. Experts are aware of the number of women dealing with premature births. This is one reason why prenatal care is stressed in the United States.
The problem is many women do not get prenatal care. There are a lot of factors that seem to contribute to this problem, such as the lack of education or the lack of healthcare insurance. Some have also noticed that minorities and poor people receive little to no prenatal care.
Weight-Control Issues Among Children
Another prominent issue that needs to be highlighted is childhood obesity. A survey shows that 30 percent of children between the ages of two to 11 are either overweight or obese. As mentioned earlier, physicians are attempting to teach parents a little more about how to prevent this problem, but improvements are obviously needed.
Additionally, kids are susceptible to self-esteem issues due to problems like obesity. The problem can leak over into later years and can lead to additional problems like mental disorders. Currently one out five adolescents who have mental disorders are also prone to using drugs or alcohol later on in life.
Improvements to Children’s Healthcare Can Be Made
In an effort to improve child healthcare, some argue that healthcare tips and education need to be taught in schools. The key is to teach children about self-care. Children may be taught how to make wise diet choices like opting for sprouted flours or organic fruits and vegetables. They might also learn how to figure out the best exercises for their particular makeup. Educating kids will likely educate adults who might not have received this information when they were young.
Of course, another important aspect that should be tackled is how inaccessible healthcare has become for some people because it is too expensive. Universal healthcare is a hotly debated solution, but there are other options such as simply expanding Medicaid to cover those who still cannot afford it.
Some say that it would be wise to open state lines and allow insurance companies from different states to compete with each other. This could help lower prices due to competition, though it could also lead to corporate takeovers that could leave American families with fewer options.
The point is that the debate needs to happen soon. An agreement should be reached because children are America’s future, and future generations should be healthy and happy.