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Study shows continued disparity in STL kids' well-being

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – A new study shows that there is a wide disparity in the health and well-being of children in the St. Louis area.

The report is from the nonprofit group Vision for Children at Risk.

It says kids in north St. Louis are 17 times more likely to have been born with little or no prenatal care than children in west St. Louis county. They're also more likely to live in high crime areas or in foster care.

Richard Patton is the group's executive director. He said the differences between children from low- and average-income families are especially pronounced in St. Louis.

"We have an unusually high number of kids that do very well, and we have an unusually high number of kids that do very poorly," Patton said. "And that has remained consistent throughout."

Patton said the disparities manifest themselves in problems like allergies, lead poisoning and teen pregnancy.

But he says new money to combat the problems will be available in the coming year. In 2004, voters in St. Louis city, St. Charles and Jefferson Counties passed a Children's Services fund tax.


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