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Children's Health

Each child brings the promise of a healthier, stronger future for Utah. To make good on that promise, Utah needs to make sure children can grow up healthy, from the prenatal period all the way through their teenage years.

Kids need to be able to see a doctor, have good nutrition, opportuni ties to run and play, and get the health care that prevents problems later in life. Communities, families, schools, and child care settings all can help ensure a healthy start.

Safety Laws Save Lives: Utah Kids are Safer on the Road than Ever Before
I was terrified when I received my first Utah driver’s license at age 16. That was before Utah’s first graduated driver licensing law went into effect in 1999, so I had very little practice before I was expected to drive on my own.  I didn’t have enough experience to be safe and confident on the road. Today’s Utah teenagers enjoy a smoother transition into driving, thanks to the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program, which provides 16 and 17 year-old drivers...
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Voices for Utah Children's Mother's Day gift idea: Extend the Utah-Friendly Provisions of Federal Tax Credits
  [View the story "Voices for Utah Children in the News: May 2015" on Storify]
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Utah Child Population Experiences Rapid Growth
New KIDS COUNT® data released Salt Lake City—A new edition of Measures of Child Well-Being in Utah by Voices for Utah Children reports that the Utah child population has increased by 24% since 2000, from about 724,000 children in 2000 to almost 900,000 in 2013. Public and charter school enrollment has increased accordingly, from 475,000 students in 2000 to 622,000 in 2014. More than 630,000 Utah children will enroll in 2015.  “With the Utah child population growing this rapidly, there is no...
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In April, Voices for Utah Children got the word out about National Immunization Week and Equal Pay Day.
  [View the story "Voices for Utah Children in the News: April 2015" on Storify]
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Research shows Medicaid produces long-term health benefits.
A recent study shows that the benefits of receiving quality prenatal and infant care through Medicaid continue into young adulthood.  The study found that people born between 1979 and 1993 with Medicaid coverage in utero or during infancy had fewer preventable hospitalizations as young adults and were 7% less likely to be obese.  The authors conclude, “Our results indicate that expanding Medicaid prenatal coverage had long-term benefits for the health of the next generation.” (Miller, Sarah Marie and Wherry, Laura...
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More parents choosing not to vaccinate, especially in Utah County
More Utah parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children and so it is not surprising that we are seeing a rise in vaccine-preventable diseases. Utah county is of particular concern because a large number of children reside there and vaccination rates are low. Of Utah County schools, 43% are under-vaccinated.  In comparison, only 14% of schools in Salt Lake County are under-vaccinated. Vaccination is required before Kindergarten and 7th grade, but Utah parents may claim exemptions for personal, medical or religious...
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Children are the losers in Legislature’s earmarking trend
This op-ed, written by Matthew Weinstein of Voices for Utah Children, was originally published in the Salt Lake Tribune on October 10, 2014.   Utah's state budget has been undermined in the last decade by an increase in earmarks — from $42 million in Fiscal Year 2005 to over half a billion dollars in the FY 2015 budget approved by the Utah Legislature earlier this year. These earmarks have risen by almost 1,200 percent and now make up nearly one-fifth of Utah's...
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Healthy Utah would help working parents
This op-ed by Lincoln Nehring of Voices for Utah Children was originally published in the Salt Lake Tribune on April 23, 2015.   The Utah Legislature is currently considering whether or not to pass legislation to allow Gov. Gary Herbert's Healthy Utah or a similar plan to move forward and improve affordable coverage options for parents and other adults in our state. It has been well documented that moving forward with the plan would be good for the state's health care system...
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