Programs to Improve Physical Health
Various data summarized by the Children’s Defense Fund (1995) present a dramatic snapshot of the health of America’s children and suggest what improvements can be made. For example, the infant mortality rate in the United States lags behind 21 other industrialized countries. The incidence of low birth weight, which places infants at heightened risk for death and long-term disability, was actually higher in 1992 (7.1% of all births) than it was in 1980 (6.8%). Nearly one out of every four pregnant mothers does not obtain early prenatal care, thus exposing themselves and their infants to increased risk of death and disease. Only two thirds of America’s young children are fully immunized against preventable childhood diseases, meaning that there are millions of youngsters unnecessarily exposed to such diseases as measles, tetanus, polio, and hepatitis B. Approximately 22% of all children live in substandard housing that may not provide suitable sleeping facilities, adequate warmth, or physical safety. In addition, there are an estimated 1 million homeless and runaway children whose basic needs for physical safety, food, and shelter are inconsistently met.
KeywordsPassive Smoking Home Team Public Health Clinic Pregnancy Prevention Program Experimental Mother
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