KYUK AM

Alaska Still Lagging In Care For Its Kids

Jun 18, 2019

Alaska has made some improvements, but still ranks near the bottom of all states in the nation for children’s well-being. That’s according to data in the annual report on how kids and teens are doing, which was released by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The good news is that Alaska has the lowest rate of babies born dangerously underweight. That is attributed to the state working with tribal health organizations to provide regional care. The bad news is that Alaska has the highest percentage of teens who abuse alcohol and the highest rate of child and teen deaths, with 52 per 100,000 people ages 1-to-19 dying. The report does not say what causes the deaths, but state data indicates that most were suicides or injuries, which include snowmachine and ATV crashes. 

In the four major categories measured in the Kids Count survey, Alaska ranked 50th in health, 49th in education, 33rd in economic well-being, and 21st in family and community. 

According to a story in the Anchorage Daily News, Trevor Storrs, president and CEO of Alaska’s Children’s Trust, attributes Alaska’s poor ratings to the fact that while other states have made major improvements for children, Alaska has not. 

The report was largely based on data from 2017.