The focus of this chapter is on common long-term conditions in childhood (0-19 years) with particular attention paid to asthma, epilepsy and diabetes.
Long-term conditions affect not only a child's health, but the quality of life and wellbeing of them and their family. Also, their school attendance, engagement and future prospects. A national survey of school-aged children in 2010 found that one-third (31%) of those with a long-term condition or disability said that their condition was affecting their school attendance (Brooks et al., 2011).
People with long-term conditions, and their carers, are more likely to also suffer from mental health problems, functional impairment and reduced life expectancy. They are also disproportionately greater users of primary and secondary care services and this increases with age (NHS Confederation, 2012).
In general, 1 in 7 young people aged 11-15 years has a long-term medical illness (Brooks et al., 2011).
Donna Green, Children and Young People's Programme Manager, Public Health, Calderdale Council. Edited by Naomi Marquis, Public Health Intelligence Officer, Public Health, Calderdale Council (February 2016).