Report Card Gives North Carolina High Marks for Child Immunizations, Low Grades for Dental Health, Obesity
North Carolina received high marks for its number of childhood immunizations, but lower scores for the dental health of Medicaid-eligible children and obesity, according to the N.C. Institute of Medicine's N.C. Child Health Report Card. The report card evaluated the state on 18 health indicators. The following is a sample of some of the grades:
- "A-" for immunizations of children under age 2. Eighty-four percent of children at that age had received their required shots, while 99% of children had all their immunizations by the time they entered school;
- "B+" for teen pregnancy, with the number of pregnancies decreasing from 69 per 1,000 girls in 1995 to 49 per 1,000 girls this year;
- "C" for dental health of Medicaid-eligible children, with only 26% of children ages 1-5 using dental services;
- "D" for obesity, with 22% of low-income children ages 12-18 being overweight; and
- "D" and "F" for child abuse and neglect for 128,000 reports of abuse and neglect filed during fiscal year 1998. During the same year, 21 children died because of abuse. In addition, authorities determined that the number of victims of child abuse increased 15% since 1995 (AP/Charlotte Observer, 10/31).