This chapter discusses the physical health of children and their health behaviour. The topics covered include child and infant mortality, birth weight, immunisations, self-reported health, longstanding illnesses and chronic conditions, non-intentional accidents and injuries, HIV/AIDS, sexual health and teenage conceptions. It describes smoking and alcohol consumption, diet, obesity and physical activity. The analysis is restricted to children aged 16 or under, although in respect of sexual health, data on young people aged 16–19 is reported. The key factors linked with mortality, low birth weight, longstanding illness are presented. The most common forms of longstanding illness found among children were conditions of the respiratory system and skin complaints. There are two common conditions in childhood where increases in prevalence have been reported — diabetes and asthma. It could be argued that child health is impervious to the activities of health professionals.
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