Bar uneven for county kids

When it comes to health and well-being, San Mateo County’s children and teens are faring better than California kids overall, but a deep disparity exists along racial and economic lines, according to a new report.

The study, which measures health, development, school achievement and family and community support, was presented to supervisors Tuesday. It is produced every two years by the county’s health department and a variety of private agencies.

San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow said that despite many positive findings, there are “significant pockets of children in need” on the Peninsula.

“In the U.S., health equals wealth. That’s not good public policy, but that’s the way it is,” he said.

Disparities exist along racial and economic lines as well, he said. While 6.6 percent of San Mateo County babies are born at a low birth weight, that number jumps to 14 percent among babies born to black mothers. Only 23 percent of low-income third-graders scored at or above the national 50th percentile on the California Achievement Test for reading in 2006, compared with 51 percent of kids who are not economically disadvantaged.

Also troubling were the findings that in 2005, one-third of 2- to

11-year-olds in the county had never seen a dentist, compared with 24 percent statewide. In 2004, one-fourth of the county’s fifth-, sixth- and ninth-graders were overweight, according to the report.

However, the report also highlighted many of the county’s efforts to increase access to health care for all kids. In the fall of 2006, about 3,000 county children were without health insurance, down from 17,000 uninsuredprior to the establishment of the San Mateo County Children’s Health Initiative in 2003.

More San Mateo County mothers are receiving prenatal care earlier in their pregnancies than ever before. In 2004, 89.8 percent of residents giving birth received prenatal care in their first trimester, according to the report.

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

Most Read