How Poverty Affects Children Physically

Published: 2019-11-18 09:30:00
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Poverty has been a life-long phenomenon that has been there for a long time, and it has transcended through generation to generation. Poverty is a worldwide crisis that affect all race, gender and nations (Evans, 2004). Children are the larger population that is impacted by poverty in many different ways. Poverty affects children both mentally and physically. The research was done and the effect of poverty is being felt in each country (Hanson et al., 2013). The cause of poverty is the circumstance that prevents one from getting a job to support their normal lifestyle (Pachter et al., 2006). The number of children affected by the poverty has risen. Children have less choice and ability to change around the circumstances since they can do little to help their families. Most of these kids are behind in all aspect for example the age of starting school.

Poverty affects children physically in many ways, firstly physical weakness is caused by the lack of strength due to malnutrition, disability or illness (Evans, 2004). Most children living in low-income families struggle to get access to foods with the enough nutrition but even if they do they cant afford them (Pachter et al., 2006). Another physical effect on people with disability is caused by the lack of money to access the appropriate sanitary facilities (Hanson et al. 2013). Children who are disabled are more likely to be discriminated on many issues in the society for example physical tasks which they cannot perform (Yoshikawa et al., 2012).

Children who are living in the areas where poverty is high are likely to get involved in the violent acts (Ridge, 2004). This makes the neighborhoods unsafe for everyone, and it may expose children to the risk of being injured or arrested. As the children grow and experience violence, it may predict their future violent behavior (Evans, 2004). Most of these children get also engage in sexual behaviors which may expose them to the risk of having HIV, STDs or even an early pregnancy.

Poverty can also affect housing, which is a fundamental need for both the children and the adults. Families who are poor are mostly living in the temporal house (Pachter et al., 2006). The shelter can affect the growth of children since they will be the relocated every time due to their economic status. The relocation affects children neighborhood relation and also the community links (Evans, 2004). Most of the housing is not that stable hence their chance of collapsing is more likely. Poverty stricken areas are so polluted since there is no proper channel of disposing of the waste product. The pollution can cause health problem to children since they do play around them.

Children are faced with a lot of challenges caused by poverty for example food security (Ridge, 2004). Some of them cannot afford three meals a day (Evans, 2004). This consequently causes their bodies to being weak physically and not able to do any physical work. The lack of food also reduces the rate of concentration of the child when in school. Some of the children are born with below normal birth weight due to inadequate food or poor nutrition hence risk to the physical health problem (Yoshikawa et al., 2012). Poor children tend to be less educated since most of them dont have the recourse needed to attend school. Others start but later drop out of school due to school fee and this may leads to various behaviors such as crime (Hanson et al. 2013).

Poverty also affects child mortality (Yoshikawa et al., 2012). Children usually are more susceptible to diseases than adults since their immunities are not as strong to fight back against disease causing organisms as compared to adults. When the diseases are not cured on time, it can lead to loss of life (Ridge, 2004). The starvation also is another disaster that may cause death to the children living in poverty since they cannot be afforded all three meals per day. Sometime they may even go for a day without having any meal. Children are overworked by their parents, so us to help them get food or income to help them survive the day (Hanson et al., 2013). Getting food is the priority. This subjects these children to hard labor at a very tender age and as a result they do not attend school to get basic education.

Poverty is one of the major things in the world that needs to be looked into and address very quickly in the poorest village where many people are dying. The study has shown that the position of the families [living in poverty] strongly affects the future welfare of children and it depends on the income (Pachter et al., 2006). The larger percentages of those who are dying are the children. Poverty is an issue that should be addressed by everybody in the world, and if there is no effort of solving it, it will get worse as time goes by (Hanson et al., 2013). The gap between the poor and the rich can be reduced in different ways so as the number of poor children increasing day by day should not occur (Ridge, 2004). The government can put in place policies or implement projects that can help in fighting poverty, or even the rich can stop spending on the inappropriate things so as to reduce the gap between the poor and rich.

In conclusion, there are many causes of child poverty and not only financial plight as many people think (Hanson et al., 2013). Child abuse is one of the things that affect a childs life; parent may fail to provide all the basic needs a child requires at a young age, that is, shelter, food, education and proper health care. This is usually because the jobs they have cannot raise enough to provide these basic need (Ridge, 2004).

Being poor does not mean you will die poor , many people have come out of poverty, and now their children are enjoying the better side of life (Yoshikawa et al., 2012).


Evans, G. W. (2004). The environment of childhood poverty. American psychologist, 59(2), 77.

Hanson, J.L., Hair, N., Shen, D.G., Shi, F., Gilmore, J.H., Wolfe, B.L. and Pollak, S.D., 2013. Family poverty affects the rate of human infant brain growth. PloS one, 8(12), p.e80954.

Pachter, L. M., Auinger, P., Palmer, R., & Weitzman, M. (2006). Do parenting and the home environment, maternal depression, neighborhood, and chronic poverty affect child behavioral problems differently in different racial-ethnic groups? Pediatrics, 117(4), 1329-1338.

Ridge, T. (2004). Childhood poverty and social exclusion. Children, Youth and Environments, 14(2).

Yoshikawa, H., Aber, J. L., & Beardslee, W. R. (2012). The effects of poverty on the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children and youth: implications for prevention. American Psychologist, 67(4), 272.


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