KIDS COUNT FACTBOOK 2005
A State Focus: A Picture of Child Health in Oklahoma
Good or bad health starts before birth. Health is dynamic for a child. Health status at each stage of development impacts a child’s well being at the next stage and further defines their future, and ours. Good health allows a child to learn, to participate, to develop and grow into a healthy, productive adult. The 2005 Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook takes this initial look at the physical and emotional health and development of the state’s children.
Historically, good health was thought to be the absence of disease or early death. Today, most health professionals include concepts of disease prevention and health promotion. Threats to a healthy childhood result from complex interactions between biology, environment, behavior, and access to care. Oklahoma health professionals, educators, parents and communities all touch children’s lives every day, exercising tremendous influence on their health and development.
Oklahoma is the only state whose health status worsened during the 1990s. For the latest year on record (2003), Oklahoma ranked near the bottom (45th) of all states. Death rates for heart disease, cancer, injuries, strokes and emphysema are higher than the national average. Too many Oklahomans use tobacco and abuse other drugs or alcohol. Teens in Oklahoma have one of the highest rates of birth in the nation. Low immunization rates and lack of health education compound the spread of infectious disease. Disabilities and unnecessary deaths are the unfortunate results of the poor health of Oklahomans.
This 2005 Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook presents the picture of child health in Oklahoma by first taking A Snapshot of the System, discussing the difficulties of finding and paying for health care, and how access impacts a child’s ability to get health care. Next, the influence of habits, behaviors, the environment and the use of preventive and routine health care on a
child’s health are discussed in Developing the Next Generation. Finally, A Picture of Health emerges, detailing the physical and emotional health status of Oklahoma children.
For the complete 15-page Picture of Child Health in Oklahoma, complete with graphics and charts, download the file in PDF format.
Also see Facts at a Glance, Part Two for a summary of the health report.