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First, the positives.
The health of Hardin County children is improving overall. That statement is based on 2012 data compiled by Kentucky Youth Advocates in its latest Kids Count report.
The specifics about Hardin County show several areas of significant improvement:
Adequate care is defined as beginning prenatal care within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and receiving at least 10 prenatal visits during the course of the pregnancy. It’s an essential element of healthy childhood.
Perhaps the issue is education. Expectant parents must understand the critical nature of prenatal care. Reminders and more reminders are needed in medical facilities, doctors’ office and distributed in dozens of ways by health departments.
Moms and dads need to impress the importance on their children as they approach child-bearing age. It’s certainly a subject of key concern for obstetric specialists whenever access to future parents is available.
Overall, the news is good. But in a community with our facilities, educational opportunities and health professionals, the decline in prenatal care is an unnecessary risk for children and a long-term burden on families and finances.
This can be resolved if it becomes and remains an issue of general community interest and emphasis.
This editorial reflects a concensus of The News-Enterprise's editorial board.