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Factors that affect a child’s access to health care

Many factors affect the ease with which children can access health care. For example, research shows that approximately 1 in 10 people in the United States do not have health insurance. Without this coverage, children are less likely to attend primary care appointments, receive dental care, or get the medications they need.

Other social determinants of health that may affect children’s health or their ability to receive health services may include:

  • Challenging educational environment

  • Difficulty accessing nutritious food

  • Economic instability

  • Being a victim of discrimination, racism or violence

  • Limits of Literacy and Language Skills

  • Polluted water or air

  • Poor housing or homelessness

In 2019, Nemours Children’s Hospital partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct a national survey of more than 1,000 parents of children under 18. We found key stats such as:

  • 32% said they missed at least one of their child’s doctor’s appointments in the past year because they couldn’t make it or pay for it.

  • 30% said they had no time to worry about their child’s health unless it was a medical emergency.

  • 23% feared they would run out of food before they had money to buy more.

Medical care represents only about 15% of a family’s overall well-being. Visit this site for more information on how to redefine health and health care to better meet the needs of children and their families.


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