Child Health USA 2006
Photographs of children's faces

Health Services Financing and Utilization

Hospital Utilization

In 2004, over 20 percent of children went to a hospital emergency room or emergency department (ER/ED) at least once. Children with family incomes above the Federal poverty level were less likely than children with family incomes below the Federal poverty level to have visited the ER/ED. Children in low-income families were more likely than their peers in higher-incomes families to have gone one to three times (25.5 versus 19.1 percent) and four or more times (3.3 versus 1.0 percent).

The rate of ER/ED visits varied by other factors, including age, race and ethnicity. Children under 5 years of age were more likely than children in other age groups to have visited the ER/ED at least once. The rate of visits among this group was 24.3 percent, compared to 18.4 percent among children aged 5 to 9 years, 16.5 percent among children aged 10 to 14 years, and 18.8 percent among children aged 15 to 17 years. Non-Hispanic Black children had the highest rate of ER/ED visits in 2004 (23.4 percent), followed by Hispanic children (20.8 percent), and non-Hispanic White children (20.6 percent); non-hispanic children of other races (including Asian) had the lowest rate (16.7 percent).


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Child Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Child Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.