There are many serious risks to a child’s health. Health risks are influenced by individual, family, neighborhood, school and community factors, as well as the physical environment. Effective economic, educational and health policies are also important to reduce children’s risk for illness and injury. The best strategies for improving children’s health occur at multiple levels — from the individual child to their families, schools, neighborhoods and social policies.
Researchers at the Kansas Health Institute analyzed data from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health to provide Kansas policymakers with a multifaceted picture of the health of Kansas children. Few data sources or comprehensive studies exist aside from this survey. The national survey, conducted for the first time in 2003, addresses multiple aspects of children’s health and well-being — including physical and mental health, health care and social well-being — as well as aspects of the family and the neighborhood that can affect children’s health.