INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indiana State Department of Health project is examining the enviornment’s impact on youth and has so far found Indiana’s blend of rural and urban lifestyles can create wide range of environmental hazards for children int heir formative years.
The State of the Young Hoosier Child 2012 Environmental Health Report includes top causes of death, asthma rates and drinking water safety data for children five and under. The recently released report notes the challenges and provides solutions for parents, community leaders and legislators.
This is the department’s second report on the health of young Hoosiers. Last year’s report focused on physical health and well being, social emotional development, school readiness and family support. Both concentrate on children’s most vulnerable formative years — birth through age 5.
“The two reports provide much needed data about our children and how we can improve our lives and our neighborhoods to help our most vulnerable Hoosiers,” said State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. “The 2012 report is a reminder of our responsibility to create environments that are healthy for all of us and provides suggestions on how to do so.”
Key findings of the 2012 report include:
- Suffocation, fires, drowning and car accidents are the leading causes of death for young children.
- The percentage of youth to age 17 who have been diagnosed with asthma has increased since 2007 and is the third-leading cause of hospitalization for this age group.
- Young children are indoors 80-90 percent of the day. The study recommends Hoosiers, both at home and at child care facilities, be aware of mold, secondhand smoke, carbon monoxide and other airborne dangers.
- Over five million Hoosiers receive drinking water from a community water system, and 99 percent of them drank water that met health standards in 2010.
The report includes safety tips and general information about environmental matters. County-level data is also noted.
Source: The Indiana State Department of Health