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Through its new five-year agenda, the TCNY 2016 preliminary plan aims to track the health of New York City’s children, because health and well-being during the early years often sets a trajectory for health throughout the life span. While the selected key indicators are not comprehensive indicators of child health, they represent significant health issues that are amenable to improvement through citywide efforts. ificial trans fat, baking without artificial trans fat and choosing prepared foods without artificial trans fat.

TCNY 2016 Children and Youth Indicators

TCNY 2016 Children and Youth Indicators


Much of the groundwork for lifelong physical health is laid in infancy. Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life confers many physical and psychological health benefits.

Timely receipt of recommended vaccinations is a measure not just of protection against vaccine-preventable diseases but also of receipt of other routine preventive care.

To receive a printed brochure on the “Regulations to Phase Out Artificial Trans Fat in New York City Food Service Establishments,” please call 311.


The childhood obesity rate is a marker for children's access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity, as well as an indicator of lifelong cardiovascular disease risk.

Asthma is a leading cause of hospitalization among New York City’s school-age children and a major cause of missed school days. The rate of asthma hospitalizations is a marker for a healthy environment (especially a home environment free of pests and tobacco smoke) as well as receipt of preventive medical care.


Youth smoking is a measure of the degree to which both children and adults are protected from the marketing of the tobacco industry, and a predictor of the rate of adult smoking, which is a leading cause of preventable death.

Similarly, youth binge drinking is associated with increased risk of injury and has many other negative short-term and long-term health consequences.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for both females and males is a goal of the Health Department to prevent cervical cancer in adults and is also a marker for preventive medical care in youth.

New York City’s teen pregnancy rate is declining but is still too high. This indicator is a measure of access to reproductive health services and a predictor of social and health problems for teenagers when they become adults, as well as for their own children.

Timely access to mental health services is critical for children, youth and their families to intervene at the earliest point possible. Preventable emergency department visits for behavioral or mental health conditions by children and youth under 20 years of age living in very high-poverty neighborhoods is both a marker for social problems with potentially lifelong health consequences and a measure of unmet need for community-based mental health services.

Social and environmental experiences in childhood are strongly associated with the development and prevalence of risk factors for chronic diseases, behavioral health problems, and injuries throughout a child’s life. Children and youth exposed to harmful social and environmental conditions are at a higher risk of violent victimization.

The Health Department’s preliminary plan addresses the various determinants of health among New York City’s children, with particular focus on the 10 identified indicators. Many of the initiatives described in the 10 Take Care New York sections protect and promote the health of children as well as adults.