Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

Report: 4 percent of kids had no consistent access to health care in 2011; South LA rate was 7 percent

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According to a new report, 9 percent of children nationwide were without health insurance "at any time during 2011." In South Los Angeles, nearly 7 percent of children were uninsured – higher than the countywide average of 5 percent.

More than 1 in 5 children in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2011, and that rate was disproportionately higher among ethnic children.

That's just one finding from a new report compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (FIFCFS), which looked at how children were faring in a wide range of measures, including health, economics and safety. (Read the full report below.)

The county's public health department says in South Los Angeles, more than 31 percent of households had incomes below the federal poverty level in 2011. That's the highest such rate in the county, and well above the rate detailed in the report from the FIFCFS.

Here's how South L.A. compared to the overall U.S. on a few key health-related measures:

  • Nationwide, 9 percent of children were without health insurance "at any time during 2011." In South Los Angeles, nearly 7 percent of children were uninsured – higher than the countywide average of 5 percent.
  • That same year, about 4 percent of children in the U.S. had no consistent source of health care. In South L.A., that was true of more than 7 percent of children.
  • About 87 percent of U.S. children (between 5 and 17) saw a dentist in 2011 – a year when about 15 percent of South L.A. children weren't able to obtain dental care because they couldn't afford it.
  • South L.A. had a considerably lower rate of teenage girls who received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine: about 29 percent, compared to 53 percent nationwide.
  • About 1 in 10 children in the U.S. have asthma; that's true of about 9 percent of South L.A. kids.

The report noted that overall, the number of children living in the U.S. "declined slightly," while the percentage of Asian, multiracial and Latino children increased.

One more finding from the FIFCFS report: The authors said the "diet quality scores of children and adolescents would be improved by increasing the intake of vegetables." But in South L.A., only about 78 percent of adults say it's "easy to get fresh produce" where they live. That's by far the lowest rate in the county.

America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013

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