As the region’s pediatric referral center, Dayton Children’s serves as a strong voice for the region’s children.
Every three years, Dayton Children’s assesses the state of pediatric health in our region through a parent survey. This study provides insight into the health and safety issues facing our region’s children and helps identify opportunities for Dayton Children’s and others to improve the health status of children.
The 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment, funded by Dayton Children’s Foundation Board and conducted by Schwartz Consulting Partners, Inc., identified through a combination of online and telephone surveys that childhood obesity remains a top health issue facing children of this region. Other preventable health concerns also emerged as top issues including colds and flu and accidental injuries.
It appears, based on this study, through awareness building, education, healthy lifestyles and greater access to primary care, the health and well-being of the region’s children would greatly improve. While the assessment covers many topics and opportunities for additional research and exploration, it also indicates that there are many steps that we can take today, as a community and within every family, to reduce the likelihood a child will need to use the health care system for preventable illnesses, injuries and disease.
Preventing the preventable can not only keep our children from missing school and reduce hospital stays and pain, but also save the health care system millions of dollars each year by reducing emergency department use for primary care and accidental injury.
This report outlines the key findings from the Dayton Children’s 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment and serves as a foundation for a very important conversation about improving the health status of our region’s children.
Key findings from the 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment
Overall, the health assessment indicates children in our region are generally healthy. In fact, 84.5 percent of parents said their child’s health is very good or excellent.
While children are generally healthy, the study pointed to key areas where our community can work to improve the health of the region’s children.
- Colds and flu followed by diet and nutrition, and injury, accidents and safety were the top health concerns cited by respondents.
- There is a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to a child’s weight. Thirty-seven percent of the respondent’s children are overweight or obese, however, 60 percent of these respondents did not believe their child had a weight issue.
- Access to quality health care is perceived challenging for lower income families who reportedly used emergency room services for nonurgent issues at a higher rate than higher income families.
Continuing the conversation
While the 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment takes a look at a variety of issues facing the status of children’s health in our community, it also allows us to focus the conversation on areas where we can work to improve health outcomes for children.
Many of the key concerns for parents are preventable.
Childhood obesity, accidental injury and colds and flu are all issues our community can tackle when we put kids first. Therefore, Dayton Children’s will continue to work to prevent the preventable. Over the next several years we will be directing our focus and resources in these key areas where we know we can make a difference.
It takes a joint effort from parents, children and doctors to recognize there’s a problem and then act on it in order to prolong the child’s life and provide a healthier style of living. Dayton Children’s will continue to work with our community partners to engage families in choosing to live healthier lifestyles.
Our goal is to educate parents and caregivers to prevent the preventable when it comes to injuries by using proven methods of intervention such as car seats and helmets, childproofing the home, and supervising children at home and at play.
Colds and flu are two very spreadable, yet preventable, illnesses that not only impact a child’s health but also impact school and work attendance costing employers and the health care system millions of dollars each year. The best way to decrease the frequency of colds and flu is through prevention – by educating proper hand washing and getting the flu vaccine.
Finally, to maintain access to high quality pediatric care Dayton Children’s will continue to advocate for better health care access for pediatric patients by advocating for higher Medicaid reimbursement for primary care physicians to meet the demand of pediatric patients.
If you have questions about the 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment, please contact Dayton Children’s at 937-641-3666
- 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment Overview
- 2011 Pediatric Health Assessment Obesity White Paper
- 2011 Pediatric Health Assessment Safety White Paper
- 2011 Pediatric Health Assessment Access White Paper
- 2011 Pediatric Health Assessment Colds and Flu White Paper
- 2011 Regional Pediatric Health Assessment
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