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How Poverty Affects Children

Sadly, poverty is a hurdle to future financial success, well before a youngster is born. Considering that poor women of all ages are more inclined to not have medical insurance, they frequently delay seeking good prenatal care. Additionally, they could have hypertension, diabetes, or some other health conditions that place their baby in danger of a premature birth. This frequently results in developmental delays that can cause a youngster to fall behind other children of the same age.

Problems They Face

How Poverty Affects Children by jessawang imageConsidering the issues that are related to a child's poor prenatal care, youngsters that live in lower income households have increased health issues compared to child who don't. For instance, complications with asthma are more prevalent with children who reside in old houses that have poor ventilation. Obesity is another health problem more prevalent amoungst poor youngsters. This is because a diet that includes fresh produce and lean protein is usually not affordable for low income families despite having the help of food stamps.

Mental health is an additional concern that is affected by being raised in poverty. Stressful situations frequently go together with poverty, like job loss, divorce, death, or substance abuse, can cause thoughts of anxiety and/or depression that could possibly last until into adulthood. Fathers and mothers who're having difficulties providing just the basic necessities are frequently not able to devote a lot of time with their youngsters, and this can lead to lower self esteem, as well as lifelong problems in developing good relationships with other people. Having to spend a lot of time in low quality daycare, a scenario and that is considerably more well-known among youngsters in poverty, could also cause a detrimental effect on a child's psychological health.

School Years

After children reach elementary school, often these youngsters end up receiving an inferior education since they move frequently or attend a school that is under-funded. It is among the most lasting negative effects of poverty. Children who don't learn to read, as well as write proficiently in elementary school are more likely to have difficulty while attending high school. Getting bad high school grades reduces the prospects for getting accepted for a college education. Because career advancement is frequently associated with educational achievement, lacking a college degree can often cause a poor child to remain poor.

Drugs and Criminal Behavior

Unfortunately, teenagers that live in low income families are far more prone to experiment with alcohol, drugs, and unsafe sexual behavior. Poor teenagers will also be very likely to take part in unlawful acts, varying from shoplifting to really serious gang activities. During these teenage years, they ought to be building a foundation that will help them become successful adults, but teens that live in poverty frequently make bad choices which will only complicate their lives even more.

What Can Be Done To Prevent This Problem?

The federal government offers a number of supportive programs to aid in lessening the long term negative effects of poverty for children. The (WIC) - Women, Infant and Children Nutrition Program provides nourishing food for women who are pregnant and also for youngsters below the age of five. Head Start provides free preschool to youngsters from poor families. This programs lays the fundamental groundwork for long term academic success. All states in the U.S. have a program that provides free or inexpensive medical health insurance to youngsters living in poverty.

Numerous non-profit local community agencies have begun programs to address the long-term effects of poverty on families. The Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America gives favorable adult role models for children who are at risk. The Salvation Army has summer camp activities for low income youngsters. They have programs to teach sports, music, outdoor wilderness skills and arts and crafts. During the holiday season, many faith-based organizations will sponsor needy families to help them enjoy a festive celebration.

Even though those programs do aid in alleviating the strain of poverty to some degree, the fight against poverty is certainly not over. Until there are sufficient jobs that offer a real living wage and more help for moms and dads being affected by addiction or mental health issues, poor youngsters will still be at a disadvantage.

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Source: www.homelessnessinamerica.com
Image Copyright: jessawang
From: Articles
Last Updated: Jan 14, 2013

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