Childhood Health

Maternal recall of childhood illness and infectious disease was collected in 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954 and 1957. Mothers were asked about whooping cough, measles, scarlet fever and mumps, but more general information about colds was also collected.

In addition, reports of accidents and maternal recall of hospital admissions were collected. Hospital admissions were classified into 15 categories (based on ICD8 categories), for the age ranges 0-4, 5-10 and 11-15 years. A similar set of variables were derived for accidents. The illness and accident summary variables were also repeated for ages 16-20 and 21-25 (see adult general health)

A set of variables describing childhood chronic illness were derived in the 1970s. (See Pless et.al 1971)


Key Publication

Pless, I.B. and Douglas, J. W. B. (1971) Chronic illness in childhood, epidemiological and clinical characteristics. Pediatrics, 47, 405-414.


Obtaining the childhood health standard variables

  • You can obtain a list of the standard topic variables to use in an NSHD data sharing request by selecting the link at the end of this page.
  • The XML version of the link can be sent to the LHA as part of a data sharing request.
  • Simply use your browser's Save As facility to save the list of variables to a file on your computer.
  • You can then email the XML version to us in support of your application, or when you fill in the data access application form and it asks which variables you need, mention the 'childhood health standard basket' along with any others.


Please Note that the childhood health standard basket only contains the three summary ILS… variables, which are the most commonly-used covariates on this topic. However, childhood health is an extremely broad subject with data on many typical childhood ailments so you are strongly advised to investigate this subject in more detail on Skylark.

HTML version of the standard variables to view

Download the XML for the childhood health standard basket