John and Sue Oaks moved Averett and his twin sister, Lucy, from Colorado just four months ago. The parents wanted to be closer to family, but many other factors drew them to Madison.
“Every time we looked at schools, activities, parks, everything just kept adding into the pro column of the move,” Sue said.
“Outdoor activities, zoos, parks, but part of the thing we looked at when we moved here was the school district, and better if not best schools from a public standpoint around,” John said.
U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Dane County 21st on its list of the healthiest counties for kids across the country.
However, the study didn’t take anything the Oaks’ talked up into consideration. The nationwide list looked at child poverty, fatal injuries, low birth weight, infant death rates, and teen birth rates.
While those statistics might seem like an obscure way to judge the health of children, Dr. Susan Davidson with Dean and Saint Mary’s said healthy children start as healthy babies.
She said complications like low birth weight and premature deliveries can lead to problems as a child develops. In addition, she said the fact that Dane County’s teen birth weight is far less than the national average speaks well to the education of young people in the area.
"Getting a good start in life really determines the rest of your life,” Davidson said.
A perinatologist, Davidson said most people have access to high-quality health care, which helps make Dane County a prime example of healthy living.
“People have access to pre-natal care in general, and the people giving that care have access to excellent advice and technology,” Davidson said.
Ozaukee County ranked fifth in the study. Waukesha County came in 16th, and La Crosse County scored 28th.
To see the full list of healthiest counties for kids, visit http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-childrens-hospitals/articles/2013/06/11/americas-50-healthiest-counties-for-kids.