Vaping More Common among Youth with Lower School Connectedness

Using E-Cigarettes At Least Seven Times in Lifetime, by Level of School Connectedness, 2013-2015

California youth with low levels of connectedness to their schools have higher rates of e-cigarette use than their more connected peers. Reporting in 2013-2015, 18% of students with low levels of school connectedness in grades 7, 9, 11, and non-traditional programs had used e-cigarettes at least seven times—almost three times the estimate for youth with high levels of school connectedness (6%).

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found substantial evidence that e-cigarette use among youth increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes. Data available on show that e-cigarette use is more common than smoking: 14% of 11th graders in California had used e-cigarettes at least seven times compared to 7% who had smoked cigarettes. This pattern held across levels of school connectedness, grade levels, genders, race/ethnicities, and sexual orientation. Tobacco use or smoking in any form is highly addictive and unsafe, and the long term health risks require intervention at an early age to prevent uptake and escalation.

Efforts across the state are working to address this growing issue. The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford School of Medicine is a resource for anyone who works with youth. It contains a set of modules focused on e-cigarettes and vapes, messages on nicotine addiction, information and resources concerning positive youth development, and school policies that provide information about school tobacco policies and tobacco control efforts. Also noteworthy, the California Department of Public Health continues to run a Still Blowing Smoke campaign with special attention to youth and e-cigarettes.’s new indicators about e-cigarette use are among 75 updated indicators on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use from the California Department of Education’s Healthy Kids Survey. In partnership with WestEd, we are working to feature data on the health and well-being of youth in schools.

Updated Data

We are always updating our data. Click the links below to see the latest:

Characteristics of Children with Special Needs

Active California Children’s Services (CCS) Enrollees, by Age Group

Children with Major Disabilities

Insured/Uninsured Children Who Have Major Disabilities

Special Education Enrollment


all indicators

Youth Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use

all indicators

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Data on Firearm Deaths Now Available

Firearm Death Rate for Children and Young Adults Ages 24 and Under: 2013-2015

Firearm-related injuries claimed the lives of 1,918 California children and young adults between 2013 and 2015. Homicide is the leading cause of firearm death among young people ages 24 and under, followed by suicide. Of the 19 counties with data in 2013-2015, three recorded firearm death rates that were more than double the state average of 4.9 per 100,000: Merced, Monterey, and Solano. These counties’ rates have been consistently higher than the statewide rate since 2008-2010.

The death of any young person is a tragedy. The tragedy is amplified when the death is preventable. Public policies aimed at prevention, education, and support of youth and families can address preventable death. For example, routine and accessible mental health screening and services for youth can address suicide and harmful behavior to others. Also, school policies that foster a safe and positive school climate can reduce violence. has newly added data on the number and rate of both fatal and non-fatal firearms injuries, by cause, age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Customize and share these data to help prevent youth firearm injury and death in California. If you need assistance navigating our site to get the data you need, please contact us at

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Creating a Positive Cycle of Health

From Edward Schor, MD, Senior Vice President at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

We all play a role in helping children reach their maximum health potential. This year let us renew our deep commitment to supporting physical and mental health for children. Optimal health is just one part of a continuous cycle in which we can all make an impact—positive behaviors and supportive relationships contribute to improved developmental and educational attainment. In turn, improved development is a stepping stone to economic self-sufficiency and healthful living. This cycle propels our children to healthy and happy lives.

One thing we know for certain is that variation in economic and social resources is associated with significant health disparities. Social structures, the supports we give to children and their families, greatly influence how our children will fare. Kidsdata provides data on social factors such as having adequate food, shelter, and health care access. These factors indicate how well a state or community is creating systems and supports that help children advance through this cycle of health.

We are excited to see how you will use these data to take action! Be sure to check out our new resource (PDF) that provides a great overview of all the information we have including topics, demographic breakdowns, geographic regions, and timeframes.

Here’s to a year of improved health and social well being!

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New Data on Infant Mortality Rates Across California Counties

Infant Mortality Rate

1996-1998 to 2013-2015

Kidsdata is excited to feature new data on infant mortality in California for 2013-2015. Infant mortality is a key measure of public health, as it reflects maternal health, quality of and access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices.

Reviewing infant mortality rates indicates troubling disparities. Among counties with data across time, San Mateo County has been consistently lower than the statewide rate since 1996-1998, while Fresno County has had higher infant mortality rates above the statewide rate. Some of the leading causes of infant mortality are preventable, and can be addressed through education and resources, from prenatal care and safe environments, to accessible high quality neonatal care and safe infant sleep practices. Much can be done to help counties improve the health of women and infants.

See how California’s children are faring »

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Quick Tip: Definition, Source & Notes

Compelling data go beyond just the numbers. Did you know that all 600+ indicators on Kidsdata include definitions, data sources, and notes?

Click on the “Definition, Source & Notes” link on the indicator page:

You’ll find information to help you interpret the data:

Check out more helpful tips »

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Lead Exposure in California’s Children

Children Ages 0-5 with Elevated Blood Lead Levels, 2013

Lead is a leading environmental threat to children’s health in the U.S. When children are exposed to lead—usually through contaminated dust, paint, or soil—it can have lifelong adverse effects, such as disrupted postnatal growth, hearing and learning disabilities, lowered IQ scores, behavioral problems, difficulty paying attention, and hyperactivity.

More than 1,200 California children ages 0-5 who were tested in 2013 had blood lead levels at or above 9.5 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL), well over the CDC reference level of 5μg/dL. Experts agree that prevention is the best course of action. While regulations and abatement efforts have helped reduce the prevalence of lead in the environment in recent decades, lead continues to pose a health and behavioral threat to children. More must be done.

See policy options that could make a difference »

From October 22 to 28, the CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are promoting National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

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Research Report on Boomers, Babies, and the Future of the U.S.

Massive demographic changes create challenges, elevate economic role of next generation


Ensuring children’s health and well being in the U.S. has never been more critical to the nation’s economic and political future, according to The New Importance of Children, a report co-funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The Baby Boomer generation is aging and retiring at the same time that birth rates are declining, altering the social and economic landscape. This disproportion due to the relative shortage of children makes each child—regardless of gender, ethnicity, geographic residence or economic background—more important to our future than ever before. As advocates we need to champion the priority of children to those who have the power to promote change.

Read the latest findings »

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Over 35 Years of Ozone Data Now Available

San Diego, Ventura, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties saw some of the biggest declines from 1980 to 2016. However, San Bernardino had the most days for 2016 with 106 days above the regulatory standard.

Ozone is a serious environmental threat to children’s health and is linked to abnormal lung development as well as asthma and other lung diseases. Strengthening laws and regulations that limit harmful emissions from vehicles, power plants, refineries, and other sources of air pollution is crucial.

See your county’s progress »

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Data in Action

“Our group presented your data to our county health managers and supervisors, and it provided the credibility and detailed info we needed to get some action.” – survey respondent

A warm thank-you to all who contributed to our survey. We loved learning about how members of the Kidsdata community, from program staff and county administrators to advocates and educators, are using data to take action.

Top Ways Kidsdata Is Driving Action

We are inspired by the ways you are using Kidsdata to ensure that all children are able to reach their maximum health potential. Check out the top ways Kidsdata is driving action:

1. Supporting the need for programs and initiatives through grant proposals
2. Promoting the importance of children’s health in presentations, research projects, and reports
3. Setting strategic goals and evaluating programmatic outcomes

Kidsdata aims to be a leading resource for those who work on behalf of children in California—that’s you!

Please continue to share how Kidsdata has made a difference for you. If you have additional suggestions on how Kidsdata can support your work, please contact us at

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Promising Trends in Children’s Health Status

Kidsdata is excited to introduce its newest topic, Health Status. Check out self- and parent-reported data on whether a child’s health status is fair/poor, good, or excellent/very good. The data are available overall, by race/ethnicity, and by family income level for California and for counties.

Health status during childhood sets young people on a path toward good or poor health in adulthood. In California, children’s health status has improved overall and for each race/ethnicity for which we have data since 2001. Most notably, 68 percent of Hispanic/Latino children were in excellent or very good health in 2013-2014 compared with 55 percent in 2001. In addition, the gaps between racial/ethnic groups narrowed during this time period.

Explore our new topic »

Policy Implications

Healthy young people tend to become healthier and more educated adults who are better able to contribute to society than those who struggle with health problems, which means a stronger workforce and reduced strain on public service systems. Nurturing California’s children today may improve the state’s future social and economic well being.

Efforts to improve children’s health can be strengthened by recognizing the wide range of influences on children’s lives including social, economic, environmental, biological, and behavioral influences. Policies and programs that could improve children’s health include implementing cross-sector strategies that go beyond traditional health care and ensuring that every child has access to family-centered, culturally-competent, and coordinated health care within a “medical home.”

See additional policy implications »

We still need your input!

The Kidsdata team is devoted to providing the evidence you need to improve children’s health and well being. Tell us how we can better support your work! Complete a brief survey by September 1 and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Take the survey »

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