ONE in five Australian parents are poor caregivers because they don't have the means or life skills, child health expert Professor Fiona Stanley says.
she said many others could not devote enough time to their kids because of excessive job commitments.
"If we don't respond to these challenges ... we will be looking at our generation, my generation, as being the last generation that lives longer than its parents," Prof Stanley said.
"If you look at the overall trend in many problems, they are actually showing no improvement and some of them are getting dramatically worse."
Mental illness, obesity, asthma and substance abuse were the biggest health risks for Australian kids.
"Family life has changed a lot," Prof Stanley said.
"You've got more hours of work, you've got more women working, but without men, or the business world or government, actually coming forward with really good childcare.
"So who's responsible for the children when a high proportion of women are working?
"That's been very detrimental to children."
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