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U-M: Sexting Joins Top Health Concerns For Kids

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - Internet safety and sexting are joining the ranks of drug abuse, obesity, and smoking as top child health problems. That's according to a new poll from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

In May 2011, the poll asked adults to rate 23 different health concerns for children living in their communities. In the top spot was childhood obesity, followed by drug abuse and smoking.

"The public understands and perceives the risks of new problems, such as sexting and stress as major issues for kids," said the poll's directos, Dr. Matthew Davis, speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950.

"These may be of even greater concern in the future as we've seen childhood obesity climb up the list in the last five years," he said.

Hear our complete interview with Dr. Davis:

U-M Poll: Kids Health Concerns

The percentage of adults who rate each item as a "big problem" include:

1. Childhood obesity, 33%
2. Drug abuse, 33%
3. Smoking and tobacco use, 25%
4. Teen pregnancy, 24%
5. Bullying, 24%
6. Internet safety, 23%
7. Stress, 22%
8. Alcohol abuse, 20%
9. Driving accidents, 20%
10. Sexting, 20%

According to the study,  adults' perceptions of top health problems for children in their own communities differ substantially by race and ethnicity.

"Black adults are much more likely to cite violence-related issues as big problems for kids in their communities," said Davis, who is an associate professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School.

"The top 10 child health concerns for black adults include gun-related injuries, school violence and unsafe neighborhoods. These same topics do not make white or Hispanic adults' list of top 10 child health problems for children in their communities," he said.

Download a copy of the full report, here. (.pdf format)

More information is available at this link.

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