In May of this year, pollsters asked 2,064 adults to rate 20 different health concerns for children living in their communities. The results are out! The top 10 overall health concerns for U.S. children in 2010 and the percentage of adults who rate each as a "big problem" include:
- Childhood obesity (38 percent)
- Drug abuse (30 percent)
- Smoking (29 percent)
- Internet safety (25 percent)
- Stress (24 percent)
- Bullying (23 percent)
- Teen pregnancy (23 percent)
- Child abuse and neglect (21 percent)
- Alcohol abuse (20 percent)
- Not enough opportunities for physical activity (20 percent)
"Levels of stress among children may relate to economic challenges faced by their families in the national recession and slow recovery," says Davis, who is also associate professor of public policy at the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
"The fact that stress now rates higher on the list of child health problems is a reminder that most of the problems on the list are behavioral or psychological in nature. Lawmakers often deal with adults' concerns about making ends meet. In contrast, in times like these children's stress may fly under the policy radar."
While we may not be able to change public policy overnight, nor can we completely eliminate the stressors our children face, there are things we can start doing today to help our children to better cope with stress.
How do you help your kids relieve stress, or relive stress as a family? How did your parents help you to relieve stress as a kid? Share your strategies in the comments section, and please pass this along to others who could use the information.