Childhood morbidity
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Childhood morbidity. Health status. Key health indicators show the health status among Australia’s children is place among the best in the world Why do you think Australia’s children are among the world leaders in health status’? . What can impact the health of children?.

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Health status
Health status

  • Key health indicators show the health status among Australia’s children is place among the best in the world

  • Why do you think Australia’s children are among the world leaders in health status’?

What can impact the health of children
What can impact the health of children?

  • Although a large majority of Australia’s children experience good health there is also exceptions, particularly among Indigenous Australian’s, those living in remote areas and those with a low socioeconomic backgrounds.

  • Children of these backgrounds experience both higher mortality and morbidity.

  • It is important to remember that not everybody enjoys the good health experienced by the majority!

  • Why do you think children of these backgrounds are at greater risk?


  • Morbidity are the chronic conditions that impact on the health and human development.

  • In infants birth weight can often be an good indication as to the newborns health, they are often more susceptible to infections and other diseases and organ malfunction.

  • Many chronic conditions have become more common in childhood in recent decades, such as Asthma, obesity diabetes, mental health and dental health issues

  • Why do you think there has been a rise in chronic conditions?




  • Australia has one of the highest asthma rates in the world

  • Boys are shown in figure 6.29, page 185 of the text to be more predisposed to asthma than girls.

  • Factors that contribute to asthma include, maternal smoking, exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution and exposure to other pollutants.

  • Asthma can be characterised as the narrowing of airways, wheezing , coughing and difficulty breathing.



  • Rates of overweight and obesity have doubled in recent years. Around one-quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese.

  • Obesity can increase the risk of developing other chronic conditions in children, such a asthma and type 2 diabetes.

  • Children who are overweight or obese will often carry this condition though to adulthood which can further the risk of disease.



  • Cases of both type 1 and 2 diabetes has risen in recent years, however type 1 accounts for 90% of diabetes in children.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease characterised by the destruction of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for transporting glucose into the cells, so lack of insulin results in high blood -glucose levels

  • Type 2 diabetes is similar to type 1 however the type 2 is characterised by the bodies inability to use the insulin that is produced. As a result glucose stays in the bloodstream , which can lead to further health problems such as kidney damage, heart disease, poor circulation and premature death


Mental health
Mental Health

  • The impact of mental health problems will often depend on the type of condition experienced. The common mental health issues experienced by children are;

  • ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

  • Depression/ depressive disorders

  • Conduct disorder (characterised by aggression, defiance, destruction of property and deceitfulness)

  • Statistic in the text show that boys display a higher proportion of boys suffering from these conditions than girls.

  • What do think the large contributing factor to metal health disorders?

Dental health
Dental Health

  • Dental health has been on declining in children since the mid 1990s

  • Poor dental health can lead to further health implications as bacteria from the mouth can travel to the lungs and contribute to infections and other respiratory problems.

  • Bacteria in plaque may also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, although research into this is still continuing.

  • Physical development can be further hindered if the bones that support the teeth are affected.

  • Self esteem can be affected in children which may impact on social and intellectual development.


  • Hospitalisations among children are high due to chronic conditions such as asthma, mental and behavioural disorders and diabetes.

  • Although children are hospitalised due to injures also, the rates are lower than those due to chronic conditions.

  • Chronic conditions can impact on all areas of health and development of a child.

  • Although some conditions such as mild forms of asthma can be simply managed, conditions such as type 2 diabetes may result in significant lifestyle changes.

Going further
Going further

  • Use your text book to help you answer the following questions.

  • On page 188 answer questions 1-6