Childhood Poverty




Childhood Poverty

We as Americans are extremely lucky. We live in a big country with many resources and almost all the luxuries we ever wanted. On the flip side, in America there are also many people who do not have these privileges. The lower class is a struggling class. For many years, people have been trying to pull themselves up from the lower class and the majority does not succeed. Childhood poverty is a large problem in the U.S. It is said that the poorest people in the United States are the children of the lower class. Childhood poverty could lead to a number of problems such as hunger, violence, physical and mental disabilities, educational problems, homelessness, family stress, sickness, and too-early parenthood. The sad truth is that living in poverty lowers a child’s chance to grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult who will contribute to society.
The number of people who are classified as the working class poor has increased. It has also been proven that work by itself will not keep a family out of poverty. As for government assistance for families in poverty, it has been decreasing. The government argued that families were not using all the services, which were available to them.
In today’s society, the amounts of single-parent households are increasing and this is another reason for the existence of childhood poverty. Statistics show that children living in single-parent homes are five times more likely to be poor. More people are getting divorced and are also having children outside of wedlock. It has also been said that women rather than men head about 90% of single-parent families. One of the
reasons why these particular families are so poor is because out of all divorced fathers, only 50% help support their child financially. As we are still see today, women in the work force have a hard time trying to earn as much as men. This makes things much more difficult, especially for those women whom are single teen parents. Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of high school and be dependent on welfare. The level of education for the parents is also another aspect of poverty. Other characteristics that contribute to poverty parents are their emotional status, or even mental retardation.
Children are faced with many consequences due to growing up in poverty. Most children who live in poverty go to poor unsuitable schools, live in unexceptable housing, and grow up around more violence and crime than any other parent would wish for their child. As soon as the child is born into poverty, they begin to feel the effects of it. They tend to have low birth weight and contain a higher risk of dying during infancy. We watched a video in class that showed that poverty could take a toll on the child’s learning capabilities, and health status. There were stories of children with hyperactivity problems, chronic ear infections which caused hearing loss, and even children who were not receiving the proper amount of nutrients to be able to grow and function correctly. The first years of a child’s life are the most crucial because most of the development of the brain occurs then.
A large problem of childhood poverty is malnutrition. Since these children are growing up in poverty, many of the parents have a hard time supplying food for their kids. Surprisingly, there are millions of children a year, which experience malnutrition. Effects of this problem are hunger, fatigue, dizziness, and re-occurring colds, ear infections, and headaches, they are more irritable, and of course unnecessary weight loss. Not having the proper amount of food supply could also cause iron-deficiency anemia and growth stunt. Anemia is the most common health result of malnutrition. Statistics say that it is three times more likely in preschool children than in children in general.
I was personally surprised at some of the facts regarding childhood poverty. Statistics also showed that children living in poverty (ages 1-5) are three times more likely to suffer from lead poisoning than children in average-income families. It is said that this is generally due to the poor conditioning of their homes. For instance, older homes are generally “out of shape”. Also, lead-based paints are used on and inside these houses. Children, whom reside in these homes, the