Investing in the health of all children makes sense for promoting lifelong health, the health of all children in our community and saving education and public health costs. Healthy children are more likely to do well in school and have fewer health problems throughout their lives.
Learn the health and wellness facts about our children including healthcare access, oral health, mental and behavioral health, obesity and other issues impacting our kids.
For example, in Marin:
- Approximately 99.5% of Marin children 0-18 years of age are covered through public and private resources. (kidsdata.org)
- 48% of low-income children had not seen a dentist in the past year (California State Audit Report, December 2014).
- Nearly 30% of Marin students in 11th grade reported feeling so sad or hopeless in the past 12 months almost every day for two or more weeks that they stopped doing some usual activity. (California Healthy Kids Survey, 2016)
- Only 18.4% of 5th graders identified as economically disadvantaged meeting all fitness standards compared to 47.9% of 5th graders who were not disadvantaged. (California Physical fitness Test, 2015)
- Nearly 19% of 11th graders reported using alcohol three plus times in the last month, and 30% have binged at least once in last month (CHKS, 2014).
“To have a healthy community we must have healthy children. This includes physical, as well as social and emotional health. All children must have access to a full complement of quality services that can prevent and address health issues early.”
Lisa Leavitt, MD, Marin Community Clinics
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What We Can Do
Here is just a sample of what we in Marin can do together. These are local solutions that individuals, policymakers and businesses can support and implement.
Health & Wellness Policy Agenda
- Continue to provide health insurance coverage for all children.
- Conduct enrollment assistance in schools, early care and community settings to provide outreach to families and enroll children into health insurance, SNAP (food stamps) and other supports for low-income children and their families.
- Provide universal early screening and referrals for interventions including developmental, social-emotional, vision, hearing and oral health within medical settings and early care and education settings.
- Expand mental health and dental services capacity for children 0-18.
- Identify and provide support to mitigate adverse childhood experiences through family support programs, mentoring and mental health services.
- Expand home visiting programs for at-risk new families such as Nurse Family Partnership.
- Make sure school meals follow guidelines for nutritious, low fat, reduced-calorie choices.
- Expand food stamp vouchers for farmer’s markets.
- Make sure every community has a full-service market where fresh food is available.
- Promote regular physical education in schools and support afterschool physical activity programs.
- Consider soda tax to reduce consumption of surgery drinks tied to childhood obesity.
- Educate parents about the importance of immunizations in protecting children and the community.