Children's Health Not a Priority for Raleigh Politicians
NC Child, a statewide children’s advocacy group, has released an annual report card with poor grades for Children's Health in NC. Some areas, like weight and physical activity, received a "D" rating which Dr. Adam Zolotor attributes to the lifestyle of the parents.
Some areas show improvement and are cause for celebration. For instance, the report assigns a “B” for improvement in teen births (by which we mean a reduction), immunization rates and dental health.
But badly lagging areas get a “D,” including weight and physical activity, tobacco use and mental health, alcohol and substance abuse. These problem areas have grown worse over the last decade.
Some areas have shown no improvement or decline, such as the state infant death rate, which was improving, but halted that trajectory in 2010. This area received a “C.”
“North Carolina’s infant mortality rate has stopped improving after declining for most of the past 20 years, and in the last five years it has worsened for Hispanic and American Indian families,” Michelle Hughes, the executive director of NC Child, said in a press release.
The authors of the report highlighted the need to improve the health of children early in their lives, and also note the need to improve the health of their parents as an important strategy for addressing some of the most difficult health problems facing children.
“It’s a simple concept — you can’t separate the future of children from the realities of the families they grow up with,” Dr. Adam Zolotor, president and chief executive officer of the NCIOM, said in a press release. “Healthy children come from healthy families.”