NEW JERSEY -- While children are less likely than adults to experience serious symptoms from COVID-19, they are still able to be carriers and/or contract the disease and spread it to others. They also may be less apt to practice good hygiene rituals (hand-washing, wearing masks) than adults.

Luckily, around 95% of children ages 0 to 18 have some form health insurance, according to personal finance website WalletHub, which compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 33 key indicators of cost, quality and access to children’s health care.

The data set includes share of children aged 0 to 17 in excellent or very good health, number of pediatricians and family doctors per capita, and an obesity rank.

Sign Up for Scotch Plains/Fanwood Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Children’s Health Care in New Jersey (1=Best; 25=Avg.)

  • 1st in % of Children in Excellent/Very Good Health
  • 2nd in Infant-Death Rate
  • 8th in % of Children with Medical & Dental Preventive-Care Visits in Past Year
  • 14th in % of Children with Unaffordable Medical Bills
  • 18th in % of Children with Excellent/Very Good Teeth
  • 22nd in % of Uninsured Children
  • 30th in % of Obese Children
  • 50th in Kids Oral Health Rank

In order to determine the best and worst states for children’s health care, WalletHub examined three key dimensions:  1) Kids’ Health & Access to Health Care, 2) Kids’ Nutrition, Physical Activity & Obesity and 3) Kids’ Oral Health.

Overall Rank
(1=Best)

State

Total Score

‘Kids’ Health & Access to Health Care’ Rank

‘Kids’ Nutrition, Physical Activity & Obesity’ Rank

‘Kids’ Oral Health’ Rank

1 Massachusetts 64.06 2 2 20
2 Vermont 63.39 1 15 5
3 District of Columbia 61.49 5 10 2
4 Rhode Island 60.57 3 16 18
5 New Jersey 60.03 4 7 50
6 New York 57.05 10 3 8
7 Hawaii 56.96 6 13 49
8 Connecticut 56.12 9 6 32
9 Maryland 55.23 7 25 34
10 New Hampshire 54.06 8 33 27

To view the entire 50 list, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-child-health/34455.

Surprisingly, New Jersey ranked second to last in terms of kids' oral health.

"This is because New Jersey has the second largest share (87%) of children who lack access to fluoridated water," said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. "Another factor that contributed to this ranking was dental treatment cost, which is also among the highest -- especially for braces, crowns and extractions. Lastly, the share of dentists participating in Medicaid for child dental services is below 27%, one of the lowest in the nation."

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Dental Association, Trust for America's Health, Free Dental Care, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Healthy Grid and U.S. News & World Report.