Source: The Australian, 14 January, 1999, p.1


Welcome, you're one in 4 million



BELINDA HICKMAN 
AMANDA KEENAN 

This is baby Jesse, four days old

Before he
turns 15 he ...

 
JESSE Devine-Colcott is only 
four days old but already he is 
a typical Australian child. His 
mother, Debra, who took him 
home yesterday, is 32, within 
the average age range for 
mothers of 25 to 34. At 3971.6 
grams, her son is also within 
the norm-most babies weigh 
between 3000g and 4000g. 
 
Jesse's arrival means the 
Devine-Colcott family now has 
the average number of 
children: two. Their elder son, 
Zachary, is 2. 
 
Jesse is a boy, and slightly 
more boys are born than girls. 
He arrived at Melbourne's 
Royal Women's Hospital on 
Monday, joining about 4 
million other children under 15 
in Australia, and he is among 
the 58 per cent of children who 
live in the two largest States, 
NSW and Victoria. 
 
So far, Jesse fits many of the 
childhood patterns revealed in 
a new report, released today by 
the Australian Institute of 
Health and Welfare, which 
provides the first 
comprehensive picture of the 
health of the nation's children. 
 
The publication, Australia's 
Children: Their Health and 
Wellbeing 1998, reveals a 
volume of information on the 
factors that affect children's 
mental and physical wellbeing. 
 
It shows that until he turns 
15, Jesse's direct healthcare 
costs will average almost $1000 a 
year, at their highest until his 
fourth birthday at $1319 a year. 
 
If he is among the 22 per cent 
of children hospitalised for 
injury or illness before 15, it's 
most likely to occur before he 
turns 4. 
 
Of course, it's still too early to 
tell whether Jesse will follow 
some of the other trends in the 
report. But the good news is he 
is likely to finish high school and 
is unlikely to be bullied there. 
And his home environment 
should be stable, which will 
improve his academic chances.


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