Child health measures show need for improvement

Several programs at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University address issues raised in the latest N.C. Child Health Report Card.

According to the report card, North Carolina received a “C” or lower in the following child health categories:
• Initiation and duration of breast feeding
• Number of pregnancies per 1,000 girls (ages 15-17)
• Overweight and obesity
• Alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse
• Child abuse and neglect
• Dental health

Medical faculty and staff members are working to correct these problem areas with initiatives such as the Pediatric Healthy Weight Research & Treatment Center. The center’s Take Off 4-Health camp has helped numerous teenagers achieve a healthy weight and improve their overall health.

Programs such as the TEDI BEAR Children’s Advocacy Center, the maternal-fetal medicine program and others are also working to improve child health.

In addition, the new ECU School of Dental Medicine is working to improve children’s dental health in our state.

According to the report card, North Carolina ranks between 35th and 45th in the nation on virtually all measures of child well-being. The Brody School of Medicine is working to turn those numbers around.