Reasons for Emergency Room Use Among U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2012

July 29, 2014

Emergency rooms (ERs) are intended to provide care for acute and life-threatening medical conditions for people of all ages, but use is highest among older adults and young children. In 2012, 18% of children aged 0–17 years visited the ER at least once in the past year. Rising health care costs make it important to understand the reasons that families with children seek ER care, rather than less expensive office-based or outpatient care.

Families visiting the ER at night or on weekends may have different characteristics or reasons for using the ER than those who visit during the day. Previous research among adults found that the majority visited the ER because “only a hospital could help,” or the “doctor’s office [was] not open.”

A new report provides comparable statistics on reasons for children’s ER use.

Key Findings from the Report:

 

  • In 2012, children with Medicaid coverage were more likely than uninsured children and those with private coverage to have visited the emergency room (ER) at least once in the past year.
  • About 75% of children’s most recent visits to an ER in the past 12 months took place at night or on a weekend, regardless of health insurance coverage status.
  • The seriousness of the medical problem was less likely to be the reason that children with Medicaid visited the ER at their most recent visit compared with children with private insurance.
  • Among children whose most recent visit to the ER was for reasons other than the seriousness of the medical problem, the majority visited the ER because the doctor’s office was not open.

 

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Adverse Family Experiences Among Children in Nonparental Care, 2011–2012

May 7, 2014

A new NCHS report presents estimates of the proportion of children who have experienced selected adverse family events by the number of biological parents in the household, with a focus on comparisons among subgroups of children in nonparental care defined by caregiver type.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Children in nonparental care were 2.7 times as likely as children living with two biological parents to have had at least one adverse experience,and more than 2 times as likely as children living with one biological parent and about 30 times as likely as children living with two biological parents to have had four or more adverse experiences.
  • More than one-half of children in foster care had experienced caregiver violence or caregiver incarceration and almost two-thirds had lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem.
  • Estimates for children in other nonparental care subgroups were lower than for foster care,but still elevated above those of children living with biological parents.

 


Underweight older adults, children decrease in U.S.

July 15, 2009

Poor nutrition or underlying health conditions can sometimes cause a person to be underweight. Data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that an estimated 1.8% of U.S. adults are underweight. Between 1988-1994 and 2003-2006, a statistically significant decrease in the percentage of those underweight was found only among those aged 60 and over. In this age group, the percentage underweight was 2.3% in 1988-1994 and 1.2% in 2003-2006.

For more, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/underweight_adults.htm.

Results from the 2003-2006 NHANES showed that about 3.3% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are underweight. Trends from 1971-1974 to 2003-2006 show that there has been an overall significant decrease in underweight children and adolescents, from 5.1% to 3.3%. Underweight significantly decreased from 5.8% to 2.8% among 2-5 year olds and from 5.3% to 2.7% among 6-11 year olds. Among adolescents aged 12-19, underweight decreased, although not significantly, from 4.7% to 3.8% during the same time period.

For more, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/underweight_children.htm.


A brief look at asthma

November 5, 2008

Two weeks ago, NCHS released a report concerning the prevalence of food allergies in children. In this report, the authors reported that “children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies.” According to the report, about 3 million children have food allergies. However, statistics show that asthma affects almost 7 million children, and asthma rates more than doubled between the 1980s and 1990s. The cause of the condition, like food allergies, is still relatively uknown (Advance Data 381).

For more Asthma statistics, click here.