Understanding More About the Health Needs of Children

Monday, October 3rd was Child Health Day 2022, an observance and recommitment to the health and well-being of children and their families.  HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) released the annual National Survey of Children’s Health, the largest national- and state-level dataset on children’s health, producing key measures meant to inform research, policymaking, and public health efforts at every level of government.  MCHB funds and directs the survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, to learn more about child well-being on a range of topics including physical & mental health, special health care needs, and adverse childhood experiences.  There’s also a wide range of information on socio-demographics such as race/ethnicity, poverty, insurance status, and geographic location.  Recently, we reported on new research that used earlier NSCH data to discover that, though rural children face higher rates of adverse childhood experiences, they’re also more likely to report positive childhood experiences.  New information in the 2021 dataset includes various effects of COVID-19, nutrition habits for preschoolers, and a look at whether or not children face discrimination based on a disability or health condition. MCHB also provides a 2021 NSCH data brief: Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic