Colorado kids’ health graded C-plus |

Colorado kids’ health graded C-plus

Larimer County school children participate in a Healthy Kids Club fun run last spring. Larimer County school children participate in a Healthy Kids Club fun run last spring.
Chalkbeat Colorado |

Colorado’s children got just a bit healthier last year but still couldn’t muster better than a C-plus on an annual report card released last week by the Colorado Health Foundation.

The main reasons for the upgrade from last year’s C grade: decreases in the percentage of children in poverty and the percentage without health insurance. There was little change on the other four indicators, which looked at obesity, physical activity, dental health and medical care.

“Healthy Children” is one of five life stages graded by the Colorado Health Report Card. Despite modest improvement in that category, Colorado is still in the middle of the pack — ranking 22nd among the states.

Other categories in the report also saw little change. In the “Healthy Beginnings” category, which looks at indicators such as prenatal care and childhood vaccination rates, Colorado earned a C+ and a ranking of 21, compared to a C and a ranking of 24 last year.

The main reasons for the bump are an increase in preschool vaccination rates, and decreases in infant mortality and the percentage of expectant moms who don’t get prenatal care.

Colorado’s teens plateaued on the report card this year, scoring a B grade and a ranking of 16 just like last year. That said, they continue to rank No. 1 in the country for the fewest teens who are sexually active.

If there’s one area where Colorado’s teens need to improve their performance, it’s eating vegetables. Their ranking on that indicator was a mediocre 41.

Colorado earned a B-plus for the last two life stages on the report card — Healthy Adults and Healthy Aging. In both cases, there was little change from the previous year.

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