New report outlines state of health care for AR children

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas children are more likely to receive preventive dental care, immunizations and mental health services than they were just seven years ago, according to a comprehensive report released today by a unique partnership of health care providers, state agencies and other organizations concerned about children's well-being.

At the same time, the state's youth need better access to medical care, more nutritious meals and consistent health education, the report notes.

The findings are published in the fourth edition of Natural Wonders: The State of Children's Health in Arkansas, a survey that examines the health needs of Arkansas kids. The publication also provides an update on efforts to address the biggest risks faced by the state's children, including obesity, infant mortality and traumatic injury.

The report offers strategies for improving children's health based on data collection and analysis. In addition, Natural Wonders aims to deter preventable illnesses and injuries through promoting health literary.

The first Natural Wonders report identified nine areas of emphasis for addressing the health needs of Arkansas children. Selected based on the results of interviews, focus groups and dataset analysis, these themes include:

  • Prenatal care, infant mortality and teen pregnancy
  • Immunizations
  • Oral health
  • Injury prevention
  • Tobacco use prevention
  • Obesity prevention
  • Mental health services
  • Health service needs and expansions
  • Capacity building

The complete Natural Wonders report is available on the ACH website at Those interested also may call (501) 364-1574 for more information.