Children are being affected by where they live.
Children are being affected by where they live. SUPPLIED

How your postcode is affecting your child's health

SHOULD your postcode determine a child's health?

A "bold" Facebook post by Children's Health Queensland has stated it is a child's postcode and not their genetic code that matters when it comes to health.

The post went online on Sunday morning to promote World Health Day and said "where a child lives can influence their lifespan, rate of disease and injury, and access to health services".

Bundaberg father Gary Hondow is all too familiar with living in a regional area.

His son, Dallas, has a rare medical condition and travels to Brisbane for medical appointments on a regular basis.

Dallas, 10, has Van Maldergem Syndrome 2 and is the only person in Australia with the rare disease.

Mr Hondow said it was a "bold statement" for the Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service to make.

"It rings true for people in regional areas," he said. "You shouldn't have to be in the city to get the same health care."

According to the Children's Health and Wellbeing Services Plan 2018-2018, it's not just genetics, as early life adversity and social disadvantage have been shown to have a direct impact on a child's health and development trajectory.

Socio-economic disadvantage accounts for approximately one-fifth of the total burden of disease in Australia.

One in three children and young people in Queensland live in areas classed as being in the top 40 per cent of socio-economic disadvantage.

The ten-year vision for the future of clinical services for children and young people says research shows that "it's not your genetic code; it's your postcode" that matters most when it comes to health and wellbeing inequalities, according to Cohen 2016.

A child's health and development is influenced by the health behaviours and status of the adults in their community.

"When a child is exposed to adults who exhibit health risk behaviours, they too are exposed to the potential adverse consequences," the plan states.

"For example, a child's asthma may be exacerbated by a parent's smoking."

According to the data, 22 per cent of Wide Bay mothers smoked during pregnancy, while the Queensland average is 12 per cent.

The data also shows about one in seven (16 per cent) of adult Queenslanders reported poor health in 2017.

The second highest prevalences were in the Wide Bay at 23 per cent.

A spokesperson for Children's Health Queensland the specialist statewide hospital and health service was dedicated to children and young people from across Queensland.

"It does this by providing specialist care to children from across the state at the Queensland Children's Hospital, through specialist outreach programs and community and statewide services, as well as partnering with other regional and rural hospital and health services to help develop their paediatric service capacity.," they said. 

"Children's Health Queensland's Children's Health and Wellbeing Services Plan 2018-2028 is a blueprint for meeting the changing needs of Queensland's children and young people over the next 10 years."



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