AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse Chronic disease indicators Deaths
Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)
Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators (NCMI) Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Most Australian children are doing well in terms of their health and wellbeing, but there is room for improvement for some, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, A picture of Australia's children 2012, shows that death rates for infants and children halved since 1986, the prevalence of asthma among children has dropped, and rates of risky drinking and smoking among children aged 12-14 are down. Smoking in households with children has also dropped.
Almost three-quarters of children aged 0-2 have stories read or told to them regularly and most children achieve above the national minimum standard for reading and numeracy. The majority of households with children in Australia perceive their neighbourhood as safe. Most households also reported that they could get assistance from outside the household in times of crisis.
'The report indeed shows that most Australian children are faring well, but despite this good news, there are several areas where improvements could be made,' said AIHW spokesperson Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman.
For example, while exclusive breastfeeding was initiated for 90% of infants at birth, only 40% of infants were exclusively breastfed to around 4 months (exclusive breastfeeding is recommended to 6 months). Around 45% of children aged 6 have dental decay, as do 39% of children aged 12.
'The report also shows that almost one-quarter of children are developmentally vulnerable at school entry,' Dr Al-Yaman said.
About 7% of Australian children had a disability in 2009 and, of these, over half had profound or severe core activity limitations. The most common disability types among children were intellectual, affecting 161,600 children (3.9%), and sensory/speech (119,100 children or 2.9%).
Injury and cancer are the two leading causes of death in children. In 2008-2010, injuries contributed to 662 deaths of children-a rate of 5 per 100,000 children. Infants (aged less than one year) had the highest rate of injury death (11 per 100,000 infants).
Over the period 2004-2008, an average of 583 new cases of cancer were diagnosed annually among children, and in 2008-2010, there were 274 cancer deaths among children-a rate of 2.2 per 100,000 children. This accounted for around 5% of all child deaths.
'Additional challenges exist among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children living in areas of low socioeconomic status,' Dr Al-Yaman said.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experience higher death rates than the national average. They also had higher smoking rates than the general child population and were less likely to have achieved reading and numeracy minimum standards.
Children in the lowest socioeconomic status (SES) areas were less likely to be read to on a regular basis than children living in the highest SES areas, and their parents were more likely to report poorer physical and mental health.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 31 October 2012
Further information: Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1146, mob. 0407 068 033
Full report: A picture of Australia's children 2012