We're taking a closer look at encouraging news about the lives of children in America. A Duke University researcher pulled together data from the Ceners for Disease Control, the census and other sources. And while not all the news is good, point after point is positive-- improvements in death rates, school scores, lead poisoning rates, and many more.
It is a promising portrait of America's children. The first decade of life is getting better. Until now, there's been so much focus on teen years, but THIS was different. When you look at children's health, education, their time at home, by nearly every measure, things are improving. Mortality rates for children between 1 and 4 have
dropped by a THIRD since 1994. Researchers point to advances medicine and
safety; car seats, safer toys and playgrounds.
Another hopeful sign came straight from the children themselves who were asked how safe they feel at school. The question: Are they fearful of an attack or harm? Even with all of the images of school violence, 36 percent fewer children said they were actually fearful in the classroom or the playground.
The study also looked at television. Parents are now paying closer attention to what their children are watching. Take children from 3 to 5. SEVENTY percent of parents now have 3 or more rules about what their children can watch. Up from just 54 percent a decade ago. And the number of parents READING to their children is up slightly, but still up.
The one area-- where researchers say -- the MOST needs to be done-- is obesity. Children from 6 to 11 years old are growing wider. Close to 13 percent were obese in 1994. Now it's 20 percent. And child advocates simply say THIS is what we tackle next.
So I guess we're doing some things right!