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U.S. children faring well

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WASHINGTON, Jul 16, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A U.S. government report on the well-being of the nation's children notes improvements in key areas, but medical and social factors remain troubling.

Compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, the report finds infant and childhood death rates continuing to drop, fewer adolescents smoking, fewer children exposed to secondhand smoke, fewer adolescent girls giving birth and more adolescents taking honors courses.

However, children are more likely to be overweight than in previous years, the percentage of children with a parent working full time dropped slightly, and the percentage of low-birth-weight infants increased slightly.

These findings are described in detail in "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2003," the 7th annual monitoring report of the status of the nation's children released by the U.S. government.

"Contrary to what many people may think, the nation's children are faring better in many respects than they have in previous years," said Dr. Duane Alexander, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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