Kids being happy generic
Kids being happy generic

Key areas Aussie kids need to improve

The latest snapshot of the habits and health of Australia's children shows two- thirds are in front of screens for more than an hour every day while 96 per cent don't eat enough vegetables.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Tuesday released its first report on the country's kids since 2012, revealing its data on the experiences of children - generally aged between zero to twelve - at home, at school and in their communities.

While the nation's kids excelled in some areas of healthy living - in 2017-18 almost three quarters ate enough fruit each day - there were definite areas for improvement with only four per cent eating enough vegetables and almost half having at least one sugar-sweetened drink a week.

The majority of kids were participating in physical activities outside of school, but more than two-thirds are in front of screens for more than an hour every day. Picture: Supplied
The majority of kids were participating in physical activities outside of school, but more than two-thirds are in front of screens for more than an hour every day. Picture: Supplied

In 2018, the majority of the nation's kids were participating in organised physical activities outside of school however, in 2011-12 less than a quarter of kids between five and 14 were getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day and less than a third met the screen-based activity guideline limit of no more than an hour a day.

The report also noted that bullying registered as an issue for many children - in 2015 almost three in every five year 4 students reported that they had experienced bullying monthly or weekly during the school year.

The rise of the internet has enabled that bullying to spread online, according to AIHW spokeswoman Louise York.

 

"In 2016-17, receiving unwanted contact and content was the most commonly reported negative online experience for children aged eight to 12, experienced by about a quarter of all children," Ms York said in a statement. In the decade to 2017-18 the number of children who registered as obese or overweight remained around the 25 per cent mark.

The report noted the impact of household finances - including whether adults living in the household have jobs - on children's health, emotional wellbeing, education and ability to take part in social activities.

In 2017-18 it found there were two million low-income houses in Australia, with about a quarter of those having at least one child aged between zero and 14.

However, Ms York says data shows most Australian children have the foundations to support good health and wellbeing as they grow up, with the numbers of mothers who smoked or drank during pregnancy down.

In 2018 nine out of 10 children aged two were immunised.


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