How Are the Children?

 Excerpt from Michigan’s Children:


By Jack Kresnak

“How are the children?” is the proverbial African greeting.

But, in places like Detroit, Wayne County and other parts of Michigan, it’s not a question that anyone can answer with any real specificity.   That’s especially true when it comes to this variation of the question: “How healthy are the children?”

The questions begin when a woman becomes pregnant: Does she have high blood pressure, a history of diabetes, a life full of stress?  Does she have access to a doctor? Does she live in a neighborhood with high levels of air pollution?  Does she eat healthy food?  Does she drink alcohol or take illegal drugs?  Does she have a safe home or a high school diploma?

They continue after the child is born: Was the baby premature?  Do the parents understand the importance of getting immunizations for their child, of reading to their infants and toddlers, of the value of a full night’s sleep and frequent naps for their young children?  Does the child live in a home environment that puts him or her at risk of asthma?

While the questions are out there, there are very few answers for most children, especially kids who are not yet in school and who live in communities of poverty.

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