Stone Soup by Jan Eliot (






If you are like most parents, you worry about your children. A lot! Those worries, it turns out, are seldom silly. A new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health ranks the top 10 children’s health concerns by adults. The top 10 “Big Problems” are:

  1. Childhood Obesity
  2. Bullying
  3. Drug Abuse
  4. Internet Safety
  5. Child Abuse and Neglect
  6. Sexting
  7. Smoking and Tobacco Use
  8. School Violence
  9. Teen Pregnancy
  10. Stress


As if those ten aren’t enough to worry about:

Other child health concerns rated as a “big problem” in 2015 for children and teens across the U.S. include: unsafe neighborhoods (40%), alcohol abuse (39%), sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS (38%), depression (38%), suicide (37%), hunger (34%), not enough opportunities for physical activity (31%), gun-related injuries (30%), motor vehicle accidents (30%), attention deficit disorder (26%), autism (24%), safety of medications (17%) safety of vaccines (15%) infant mortality (13%) and food allergies ( 13%).


Where would you rank all these concerns? For younger people I’d replace teen pregnancy with hunger. For teens, I worry more about random events like being a victim of violence (especially from guns, which are ubiquitous in our society), motor vehicle accidents, and infectious diseases. For every one of our children I also worry about pollution, our warming planet, and climate change.

How about you?