Though 88 percent of African-American single parents are moms, a recent Harvard study shows that single dads may be missing the mark when it comes to their children’s health care and are far less likely than single moms or two-parent families to take their kids for routine exams and checkups. Only 57 percent of the study’s single dads made sure their kids received regular health care, compared with two thirds of the parents of other children. Single-father families are also 20 percent more likely to be uninsured compared with other groups. Missing checkups, which often include immunizations, screenings and other preventive care, may leave children vulnerable to health problems. The National Fatherhood Initiative offers these tips:

  • Assess your own health and get to the doctor. Healthy dads raise healthy kids.
  • Prepare food at home more often, serving fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains.
  • Get out and play! Teach kids the importance of physical activity and exercise.

For more information on single fatherhood, check out the National Fatherhood Initiative at