While a report that ranks kids' well-being says that Wyoming is worsening as a state, Sheridan County ranked fourth best out of the 15 most populated counties and improved in 7 of 12 child well-being indicators. Kid's Count Director Marc Homer.
The four categories in Sheridan county that worsened during the period of the study include: Infant mortality rate (2nd in state), less than adequate prenatal care (4th), low birth-weight babies (7th), and free and reduced lunch (3rd).
As a state, the report says that a lot of Wyoming mothers don't get the prenatal care they should, they have difficulty finding a local hospital to give birth in and also that they are not aware of the risk factors that can negatively affect childbirth and child development. Sheridan County ranked better than the state average in 11 out of the 12 indicators. Homer explains the one area that could be improved.
Sheridan ranked 13th in the "mothers who smoke while pregnant" category. This has however improved during the period of the study, 2006 to 2009, from 26 percent to the 23 percent Homer mentioned. The state average was 19 percent, down from 20 percent in 2006.
Statewide child well-being indicators in just four of 12 have improved from 2000 to 2009, while the remaining eight have have declined. Wyoming ranks 28th out of states in the U.S. for child well-being as ranked by an index of 10 indicators. That's according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation who funds the Kid's Report. The remaining eight counties held less than 2 percent of the state's population of 132,000 children in 2009.