The Children's Commissioner has called New Zealand's increasing hospital rates for children a "matter of national disgrace".
It comes after a new report by Cure Kids looked at the health of our children through their hospitalisations for three key problems: oral health, skin infections and respiratory conditions.
Forty percent of five-year-olds have evidence of tooth decay - a major contributor to hospital admissions.
Skin infections also rate highly including cellulitis, abscesses, boils and carbuncles. But the leading cause for acute hospitalisations for children is respiratory conditions.
In all three problem areas our rates are high, and for Māori and Pasifika children and those living in areas of high deprivation, the numbers are even worse.
Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge says 40,000 children a year are admitted to hospital with a preventable illness.
Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft believes it is a "roll of shame" for New Zealand.
"This is a matter of national disgrace," he says.
"We have entirely preventable conditions and diseases that are filling hospital wards and it shouldn't be happening.
"The answer is simple, attack and prioritise child poverty."
The Health Minister Andrew Little admits there are failings.
"We clearly have some big gaps," he says. "We've got to beef up our front line primary care help to make sure a lot more children who are vulnerable at the moment are getting healthcare that they need."
Cure Kids hopes this report will help improve the situation through more research.
"It's a snapshot of where we are today with a big hope for where we can possibly be in the future," Benge says.