The Biggest Worries About Children’s Health

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Raising a child has never been easy, and parents have always worried about their children when they left home for school or work. Today parents are concerned about the welfare of their children within the home as well because of the insidious dangers associated with the internet and social media.

To determine the top concerns among parents about children’s health, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the findings of the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

Internet-related concerns ranked high in the poll, which showed that 61% of adults identified bullying/cyberbullying as a “big problem.” Just behind at 60% was not getting enough exercise, which many experts link to excessive use of social media and gaming. Internet safety was fifth at 55%.

Other health concerns for parents in the poll were unhealthy eating, child abuse and neglect, suicide, depression, teen pregnancy, stress, and drug abuse.

The poll also asked respondents who are parents of children up to 18 years to assess their level of concern for how child health topics might impact their kids. The highest proportion of parents were “very concerned” about bullying/cyberbullying, internet safety, and stress.

Motor vehicle accidents and school violence were the next greatest concerns for parents. The latter issue has been brought into stark relief with the number of school shootings in recent years — one of the ways American life has changed over the last decade.

To identify the biggest concerns about children’s health, 24/7 Tempo reviewed every edition of the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on the top 10 child health concerns between 2013 and 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. The Mott Poll surveys are conducted three times a year and are based on responses from about 2,000 parents who have at least one child under the age of 18. While the health issues parents identify as concerns have mostly remained the same over years, some, such as school violence and gun-related injuries, are new entries.