updated: 7/30/2012 8:10:49 AM
An Indiana State Department of Health project is examining the environment's impact on youth. The State of the Young Hoosier Child 2012 Environmental Health Report includes top causes of death, asthma rates and drinking water safety data for children five and under.
July 27, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana's blend of rural and urban lifestyles can create a wide range of environmental hazards for children in their formative years. The Sunny Start program at the Indiana State Department of Health has recently released the State of the Young Hoosier Child 2012 Environmental Health Report, which notes these challenges and provides solutions for parents, community leaders and legislators.
This is Sunny Start's second report on the health of young Hoosiers. Last year's report focused on physical health and well being, social emotional development, school readiness and family support. Both concentrate on children’s most vulnerable formative years — birth through age 5.
"The two reports provide much needed data about our children and how we can improve our lives and our neighborhoods to help our most vulnerable Hoosiers," said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. "The 2012 report is a reminder of our responsibility to create environments that are healthy for all of us and provides suggestions on how to do so."
Key findings of the 2012 report include:
-Suffocation, fires, drowning and car accidents are the leading causes of death for young children.
-The percentage of youth to age 17 who have been diagnosed with asthma has increased since 2007 and is the third-leading cause of hospitalization for this age group.
-Young children are indoors 80-90 percent of the day. The study recommends Hoosiers, both at home and at child care facilities, be aware of mold, secondhand smoke, carbon monoxide and other airborne dangers.
-Over five million Hoosiers receive drinking water from a community water system, and 99 percent of them drank water that met health standards in 2010.
The report includes safety tips and general information about environmental matters. County-level data is also noted.
Sunny Start: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds is a comprehensive effort to coordinate support systems and resources for children birth to age five and their families. It is funded by a Maternal and Child Health Bureau Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.
For the 2012 report, Sunny Start staff collaborated with Improving Kids’ Environment (IKE), a statewide, non-profit organization that works to reduce environmental health threats to children. To view the report, visit http://www.sunnystart.in.gov/eh.
For more information about the Sunny Start: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds 2011 data report, visit www.sunnystart.in.gov/syhc .
Visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.StateHealth.in.gov.
Source: The Indiana State Department of Health