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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Indicator 1.7: Children's Health Risks

Figure 1.7. Percentage of babies of low birthweight, by race/ethnicity: 2002
Percentage of babies of low birthweight, by race/ethnicity: 2002
1 Includes Asian/Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives of Hispanic origin.
NOTE: Babies of low birthweight weigh less than 2,500 grams/5.5 pounds.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Vital Statistics Reports, Births: final Data for 2002, based on CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, Final Natality Statistics, 2002

American Indian/Alaska Native infants are as likely as other children to be born with low birthweight.

Birthweight is a strong indicator of a child's health. Babies with low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams/5.5 pounds) face an increased risk of infant death and long-term illness and disability (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics 2004). In 2002, American Indian/Alaska Native infants (including those of Hispanic origin) were as likely (7 percent) as White (7 percent), Hispanic (7 percent), and Asian/Pacific Islander (8 percent) infants (including those of Hispanic origin) to weigh less than 2,500 grams. The incidence of low birthweight among American Indian/Alaska Native babies was half that of Black infants (13 percent).

Vaccinations are vital to safeguarding a child's health. For this reason, it is recommended that children receive the 4:3:1:3 vaccination series by 35 months of age. This series consists of four or more doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxids and pertussis vaccine (DTP), three or more doses of poliovirus vaccine, one or more doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV), and three or more doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2003). In 2003, 77 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native children received the 4:3:1:3 vaccination series by 35 months of age.

View Table View Table 1.7a

View Table View Table 1.7b



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