Health of Young Aboriginal Children Living Off Reserve


The health of young Aboriginal children was investigated in this study. The majority of young Aboriginal children living off reserve in Alberta were in excellent or very good health. First Nations children had poorer overall health ratings, were less likely to have been breastfed, and were more likely to have a chronic health condition compared to other Aboriginal children. The most influential determinants of good health among Aboriginal children included the absence of a chronic health condition, a healthy birth weight, and being breastfed. Young Aboriginal children living in environments where there was home ownership, homes in good repair, smaller household size, higher family income, and who had fewer moves were reported to be in better health than children not experiencing these influences. Living in a two parent household and having a female caregiver with higher education was predictive of good child health as were routines such as daily milk and vegetable consumption and age appropriate amounts of sleep. This suggests that Aboriginal children’s health is influenced by many of the same factors that influence the health of all young children. Consequently strategies to support healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding, and efforts to address the environmental circumstances in which Aboriginal children live may improve the health of young Aboriginal children.

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