Childhood Poverty and Health


As a pediatrician, I have seen many times how poverty threatens a child’s health.  Two recent articles posted in the Vancouver Sun and the New York Times nicely summarized some of the difficulties poverty imposes and why we must start thinking about how we can eradicate this “disease.”   The evidence is clear that the effects modify the child’s development extremely early in childhood – changing a child’s life trajectory forever. 

BC has the second worse child poverty rate in Canada at 14.3 %, using a poverty line of approximately $42,000 for a family of four, and $28,000 for single parent families. For more information on the status of child poverty in the province of BC see the First Call BC Child Poverty Report Card 2012.

Post published by Perri Klass, M.D In the New York Times
More doctors are growing concerned about the effects of childhood poverty in an age when income inequality is increasing and social mobility is declining….

Greatest Threat to Health of Children is Poverty
Post published by Barbara Fitzgerald, M.D In the Vancouver Sun
There is a devastating health condition that affects one in 10 children in our province: 87,000 children. It causes injury, illness, school failure and premature death. As a society, we must decide if it is a health condition we want to treat. The condition is child poverty.

Categories: Ask A Pediatrician, Behaviour and Development, Parenting

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