October 21, 2014
Via PR Newswire
A new study of California’s Latino children paints a complex picture of their health and well-being and finds striking differences within a 4.7 million-strong population that comprises more than half of all the children in the state.
More than 94% of these children were born in the United States. While many Latino children live in poverty and are uninsured, they have comparable access to preventive health care and most of their parents report them as being in “good” or “excellent” health.
However, the researchers also found that children living in “linguistically isolated” families, where Spanish is primarily spoken, face bigger challenges in health access and educational achievement compared to children in families where both English and Spanish are spoken.
The study was conducted by the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative and commissioned by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.
Among the findings:
More than 94% of Latino children in California are U.S. citizens.
More than 370,000 Latino children in the state have no health insurance, despite being eligible for government-funded programs.
One in four Spanish-speaking households in California is considered “linguistically isolated,” meaning that no one in the household age 14 or older is conversant in English. That isolation has been linked to poorer health and educational achievement in children.
About 58% of Latino children from linguistically isolated households use a community or government clinic or a community hospital as a usual source of care, a much higher rate of use than white children (15.3%) or Latino children from English-speaking households (17.9%).
Latino children fare as well or better than white children when it comes to family practices that indicate a home environment that promotes children’s health. For example, Latino children from primarily Spanish-speaking households eat meals together with their family every day more often than white children, and are more likely than white children to live in a household where no one smokes.
Source: El Editor