Sorry state of children

The State of America’s Children 2014 is a report published by Children’s Defense Fund, which cites the neglect of children as the top national security threat. Sections of the report include family structure and income, housing and homelessness, child health, education, juvenile justice and gun violence. Seriously, you may want to Google this report.

Let me share some bullet points as reported by the Washington Post:

For the first time in America, a majority of American children younger than age 2 are now children of color – and 1 in 3 of them is poor.

One in five children (16.1 million) is poor, and one in 10 (7.1 million) is extremely poor.

Children are the poorest age group, and the younger they are, the poorer they are.

One in four infant, toddler and preschool child (5 million) is poor; 1 in 8 is extremely poor.

75 percent of young people age 17 to 24 cannot get into the military because of poor literacy, health or prior incarceration.

In six states – Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin – half or more black children are poor. While I circled Ohio, please note the contiguous states north and south of Ohio also are listed.

Ratings from How America Ranks Among Industrialized Countries in Investing in and Protecting Children:

First in gross domestic product.

First in number of billionaires.

Next to last in child poverty rates (just ahead of Romania).

First in military spending.

First in military weapons exports.

First in number of people incarcerated.

Worst in protecting children against gun violence.

24th in reading scores for 15-year-olds.

28th in science scores for 15-year-olds.

36th in math scores for 15-year-olds.

First in health expenditures.

25th in low birth weight rates.

Next to last in teenage births (just ahead of Bulgaria).

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is committed to sharing information and resources for better mental health and the prevention of substance abuse. It has a website,, with a link to our Facebook page. If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board at (419) 448-0640 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The board’s hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 826-1306.

Nancy Cochran,

executive director