New report about California children out

January 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
California children are not faring well, these days -- whether it has to do with their health or the effect the economy is having on their family. This is according to Children Now, a research and advocacy group based in Oakland. Their annual report card came out on Tuesday.

Here is a breakdown of today's 10 million California children:

  • 49 percent are Latino.
  • 30 percent are white.
  • 10 percent are Asian.
  • And six percent are African-American.

    And in order to support the needs of California kids, a report by Children Now says a family of four has to earn $72,000 a year to pay for housing, child care, food, insurance and transportation. Only half of California families earn that much.

    Ted Lempert is the President of Children Now.

    "We're basically in very difficult economic times and we're concerned this is going to get worse. But bottom line is, it's expensive raising kids and half of the kids in this state live in families that don't make enough to provide the basic support," said Lempert.

    For example, this year more than one million children in California will lack health insurance.

    "It's over $7,000 every time a child goes to the hospital for treatment that could have been avoided or much more cheaply dealt with if they had just gone to a regular doctor's visit," said Lempert.

    Obesity is still a problem, but the state saw a slight improvement after schools began limiting the amount of junk foods.

    Still experts worry about the health implications of childhood obesity.

    "You can get cirrhosis of the liver, you can get type two diabetes and once you get type two diabetes the clock is ticking until the day you day, you can get orthopedic problems, you can get depression," said Dr. Robert Lustig from UCSF's Children's Hospital.

    Less than half of all children don't have access to pre-school. San Francisco is doing better than the rest of the state general fund goes to fund preschools.

    "And it was because of everybody's knowledge that if you have a successful quality preschool experience, you are going to have a much better chance of doing well in school," said Margaret Brodkin from the Department of Children, Youth and their Families.

    Related Link:

  • Children Now Report.