OSDH Celebrates 25 Years of Implementing The Oklahoma Toddler Survey (TOTS)
For Release: October 22, 2019 - Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
Oklahoma mothers over the years have participated in The Oklahoma Toddler Survey (TOTS) through the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). This year, TOTS celebrates 25 years of existence.
TOTS is an ongoing, statewide survey that collects information on the health experiences of Oklahoma’s toddlers. It is a two-year follow up to the Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). TOTS surveys the mothers who responded to PRAMS when their child turns 2 years of age. Oklahoma was the first state to begin a follow-up survey to PRAMS; currently only four other states have something similar.
“The purpose of TOTS is to provide a better picture of what affects the health of young children in Oklahoma,” said Ayesha Lampkins, Oklahoma’s TOTS project manager. “This information is crucial to help develop and monitor programs and health policy in a time of limited resources. TOTS also helps families learn more about being healthy and safe.”
On a monthly basis, TOTS sends surveys to between 150 to 175 mothers who previously answered the PRAMS survey, which is sent to new mothers randomly selected from Oklahoma birth certificates. Since this is a small percentage of all Oklahoma mothers with toddlers, the completion and return of surveys is vital. Mothers are sent mail questionnaires with follow-up phone interviews for women who do not respond to the mailed surveys. Surveys are available in both English and Spanish. All information is kept confidential.
Rebekah Rodriguez, TOTS data manager, echoes the importance of mothers completing the survey.
“Our goal is that all mothers and their young children thrive and benefit from having their experiences heard,” said Rodriguez. “The TOTS process gives Oklahoma mothers a space and an opportunity to have a voice about issues affecting them, their children, and their families. TOTS has touched the lives of thousands of women since it began in 1994.”
Over the years, TOTS data have been used to strengthen the OSDH’s ability to assess needs and develop programs related to the health of Oklahoma’s young children. The survey currently collects information on topics such as family structure, child care, safety, nutrition, social supports and stressors, secondhand smoke exposure, and maternal depression. For more information, please visit TOTS.health.ok.gov.