Report: 1 in 5 Households Have Children With Special Healthcare Needs

The National Survey of Childrens HealthThe Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently released a report comparing the health and well-being of children with special healthcare needs versus children without. The report shows that 14 to 19 percent of children in the United States have a special healthcare need, representing more than one in five households with children.

Data for the report comes from The National Survey of Children's Health, a national survey about the health and well-being of more than 90,000 children in the United States. The report identifies children with special healthcare needs as those who have one or more chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions for which they require an above-routine type or amount of health-related services.

The report found that many of these children are

  • More likely than other children to have consistent insurance; however, that insurance is less likely to meet their needs, and they are less likely to receive care that meets the criteria for having a medical home
  • Less likely to be engaged in school, and more likely to repeat a grade and miss more than two weeks of school due to illness
  • More likely to be overweight or obese than children without special healthcare needs.

View a copy of Children With Special Health Care Needs in Context: A Portrait of the Nation in 2007.