The University of Kentucky Public Relations & Strategic Communications Office provides a weekly health column available for use and reprint by news media. This week's column is Dr. Scottie B. Day, physician-in-chief for Kentucky Children’s Hospital and president of the Kentucky chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2020) — There are fewer than two weeks left to complete the 2020 census, and it’s more important than ever that we get an accurate count of the number of newborns, infants, adolescents and teens in the country.
In 2010, more than two million children weren’t counted in the census. Half of those were under the age of five, and the consequences of underfunded health and social programs could impact nearly their entire childhood. Information from the census is used to allocate more than $160 billion a year in federal funds for programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Head Start. The children who aren’t counted are the ones who would benefit most from these programs.
More broadly, the information from the census not only determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, but it also helps direct federal funding that supports healthcare, hospitals, school districts, public transportation, foster care programs, special education, and a number of other services that directly impact the health and well-being of Kentucky’s children. Undercounts have negative ramifications for everyone, but especially for the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens.
This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to help level the playing field and improve the collective health of our children. If you have not yet completed the census, please make sure to count all children in your household, including newborns. Census information is secure and private and can’t be shared with other government agencies.
Please help us provide the best possible start for Kentucky’s kids. We’re counting on you to make every child count.
To complete the census, visit 2020census.gov or call (844-330-2020).
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