Old timers say kids worse off today than in the past

DESPITE medical and technological advances, a health poll has found most Australians believe life for children and teenagers is worse today than in their era.

The Australian Child Health Poll released on Wednesday found most people surveyed believed children were worse off in neighbourhood safety.

But more than half believed children were no better off when it came to physical and mental health and family violence.

Although there was a strong perception among those surveyed that there was better education, almost half thought employment opportunities for young people were worse today.

About half of respondents said no political party leaders represented their views on the well-being of children and teenagers, and three-quarters believed politicians should take more action on children and teen issues.

The poll's director, paediatrician Anthea Rhodes, said in an era in when discussions about resourcing were dominated by the needs of older Australians, the findings were an unexpected call to action.