AIHW report shows lower child mortality rates, growing obesity

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released its report into children’s health, showing an overall improvement in the health and education of Australian children.

Researcher and lead author of the study, Dr Fadwa Al Yaman, says the overall infant mortality rate between 2006 and 2012, dropped from almost 5 per cent down to around 3 per cent.

The drop in infant mortality over the period has been largely attributed to greater awareness into the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Dr Al Yaman says that there has also been a significant improvement in Indigenous health, due to the decline in infectious diseases and higher immunisation rates.

Despite improvements in the nation’s infant mortality rates, the percentage of five to 14-year-olds who were overweight, or obese, grew from 23 per cent to 26 per cent between 2006 and 2012.

The rates of abuse and neglect also increased.

The report also revealed a higher proportion of children are meeting the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy.

Preschool attendance increased, and literacy among Year 5 students improved across most of Australia, though the trends varied between states and territories.