HAZARD, Ky (WYMT) - A new report from the KIDS COUNT Data Book shows Kentucky is worse than half the nation when it comes to promoting children's well-being.
But they are making progress when it comes to health care for kids.
In that category they are ranked 31st, which is up from previous years.
At the Perry County Health Department, they said they have a responsibility to keep the youth in their community healthy.
Melissa Howard is the nursing supervisor there and said her staff offers advice for parents to keep their kids out of the hospital.
"Physical exercise is one thing, good nutrition, drinking water," said Howard.
She said in Perry County they take a head to toe approach to examining kids.
"If there is something that is wrong, they're going to find it," said Howard.
Alice Shepherd brought her two sons to the health department Monday to get them checked out for possible ear infections.
She said years of experience at the facility have kept her coming back for all her children's health care needs.
"I brought him here and ever since then, everything has been great," said Shepherd.
She said her boys feel comfortable as well.
"They're great here with the kids, he loves it," said Shepherd.
Howard said the most important thing her team does is give kids the chance to grow up to be healthy adults.
"If you give them the start from the beginning, it is going to prevent a lot of health problems," said Howard.
In addition to making improvements in child health care, Kentucky also improved in education.
They are now ranked 28th in that category.