Children growing up in poverty and families with low-income encounter various challenges in life. The negative experiences range from poor health to social consequences that begin during childhood and transgress into adulthood.
Child poverty has negative impact on kids and creates inequalities. Living in poverty causes poor health and wellbeing in children. They experience poor health outcomes from their childhood into adulthood.
Poverty exposes kids to the stress of living in poverty, limited money for accessing basic needs such as shelter, poor education and opportunities for employment, and inability to live healthy lifestyles.
Together with prolonged exposure to these factors, poverty affects kids’ development and health outcomes.
Child poverty also leads to feelings of exclusion and bullying because poor kids often end up with fewer friends and have limited access to social activities with their peers.
Poverty also causes health inequalities in kids. When children grow up in deprived areas or low-income households, they’re at a higher risk of poorer health outcomes than their fellows growing up in well off or better families and living in affluent neighborhoods.
Some signs of child poverty impact on health outcomes include:
- Tooth decay
- Higher rate of infant mortality
- Unintentional injury
- Low weight at birth
- Teenage pregnancy
- Lack of breastfeeding
- Risk of being obese or overweight
- Poorer mental well-being and overall health
Child poverty also exposes children to an increased risk of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). High numbers of ACEs is linked to deprivation amongst persons living in the most deprived areas.
Poverty also impacts kids’ educational outcomes. Disadvantaged kids from low-income households and areas often experience poor educational outcomes than their counterparts in better-off families. This is in terms of achievement in school and cognitive development.
Despite most poor children’s good performance in school, they clearly experience a lower gradient in attaining education due to deprivation. Studies indicate a persistent gap between the educational outcomes of kids in the least and most deprived areas.
Children living in deprived areas experience the worst performance in early Curriculum for Excellence, all the way from primary one to the time they leave school. Poverty also causes kids to experience poor performance in writing, reading, and numeracy.