For nine years, C.S.Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll has surveyed parents on the biggest perceived health concerns facing children in the United States. Two of the biggest rising problems, however, were likely not even an issue a decade ago for most kids: internet safety (#4) and sexting (#6). Holding the top three spots of concern for the past two years have been childhood obesity, bullying and drug abuse. Also on the cumulative top 10 list for 2015 were child abuse and neglect, school violence, teen pregnancy, and stress. The widespread use and availability of cell phones and internet technology are the most logical culprits for the jump from 8th place to 4th for internet safety and 13th place to 6th for sexting.
For African American adults polled, sexting was not among the top 10 health concerns, although internet safety appeared in 9th place. Depression, school violence, alcohol abuse, and hunger rounded out the concerns for African American respondents. The biggest change in reporting for Hispanic adults surveyed was the jump from 14th place to 3rd place for child abuse and neglect. Suicide concerns for Hispanic respondents also rose from 13th place to 9th. One positive note: smoking and tobacco use, which used to appear towards the top of the compiled list, has now dropped to 7th place, reflecting a decline nationwide in smoking and tobacco use.