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One in Three Parents Report Skipping Doctor, Dentist Appointment

Parents unaware of impact socioeconomic factors can have on chronic disease

family with kids

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One in three parents have skipped a doctor or dentist appointment in the past year because they could not afford to pay for visits or find transportation, according to the results of a survey released Nov. 18 by Nemours Children's Health System.

The Harris Poll conducted an online, national survey of more than 1,017 U.S. parents of children aged <18 years (Oct. 9 to 14, 2019) on behalf of Nemours Children's Health System. The findings were released as part of the Redefining Health for the Well-Being of Children report.

The poll shows that two-thirds of American parents report at least one economic, environmental, or lifestyle factor that limits their family's ability to live a healthy life. These factors include having trouble paying for or getting to a doctor or dentist appointment or medicine (30 percent), worrying about running out of food (23 percent), worrying about their or their family's personal safety (17 percent), trouble finding work or affordable child care (17 percent each), and being unable to access a grocery store with healthy food options (10 percent). Most parents (70 percent) mistakenly believe that prescription drugs have the biggest impact on preventing chronic conditions rather than socioeconomic factors.

"Our survey shows how shockingly normal it is for families to struggle to meet these needs that are crucial for children's health," R. Lawrence Moss, M.D., president and CEO of Nemours Children's Health System, said in a statement. "By making smarter investments in the health of our nation's children, we can achieve massive returns, not only to a child's health, but of the next generation of adults."

Redefining Health for the Well-Being of Children

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