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Compounding Stress: The Timing and Duration Effects of Homelessness on Children's Health

June 1, 2015

New research from Children's HealthWatch illustrates there is no safe level of homelessness. The timing (pre-natal, post-natal) and duration of homelessness (more or less than six months) compounds the risk of harmful child health outcomes. The younger and longer a child experiences homelessness, the greater the cumulative toll of negative health outcomes, which can have lifelong effects on the child, the family, and the community.Researchers from Children's HealthWatch collected data from over 20,000 caregivers of low-income children under the age of four with public or no health insurance. These caregivers were interviewed in urban pediatric clinics and emergency departments in five U.S. cities from 2009 through 2014. Interview data were analyzed to assess children's health and development and to compare outcomes for children who experienced homelessness at some point in their lives with children who were never homeless.

A Safe, Stable Place to Call Home Supports Young Children's Health in Arkansas

June 1, 2012

Families should be able to afford a roof over their heads and still have enough money to pay for food, utilities, and healthcare. Unfortunately, for many Arkansans, wages are not keeping up with housing costs. Presently, fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $216 more a month than a full-time minimum wage employee earning $7.25/hour can afford. Children's HealthWatch research shows families are forced to sacrifice basic necessities when they confront the gap between the cost of housing and their ability to pay for it.

Stable, Affordable Housing Supports Young Children's Health in Philadelphia

May 1, 2012

Children's HealthWatch researchers analyzed survey data collected from caregivers in Phildelphia between 2005 and 2011. In the sample of 4,500 families, Children's HealthWatch found that about 56% of families were housing insecure. Housing insecurity is associated with poor health outcomes in very young children. Short-and long term interventions that help stabilize families in affordable housing will improve the health and development of Philadelphia's youngest children.

Overcrowding and Frequent Moves Undermine Children's Health

November 1, 2011

Children need stability in their lives -- whether it is in their daily routines, the adults that care for them, or their housing. Recent economic conditions are putting families at risk, not just of outright homelessness but of being housing insecure (frequent moves, overcrowding, or doubling up with another family for economic reasons).

Federal Programs that Protect Young Children's Health

June 1, 2011

An investment in children's health is an investment in our country's economic health. Infants and toddlers, whose bodies and brains are in their most rapid period of growth, are uniquely vulnerable to even shortterm deprivation. Ensuring that they have the basic physiologic building blocks for healthy bodies and minds is not only the right thing to do -- it is the smart thing to do. Research has shown that children who suffer from poor nutrition, unstable housing and inadequate home heating have a greater likelihood of poor health, a higher risk of developmental delays and, in some cases, an increased risk of hospitalization.

LIHEAP Stabilizes Family Housing and Protects Children's Health

February 1, 2011

The heating and cooling season presents special challenges for our nation's low-income families. With limited resources, many are challenged to manage the seasonal spike in utility expenses, facing decisions about whether to pay the rent, keep the lights and heat on, or buy enough groceries to get through the end of the month. We know that each of these decisions will have significant implications for the health of their youngest children. Unfortunately, these tough choices are all too common this winter as the nation experiences increases in energy prices, unusually cold weather, and continued high unemployment.

Earning More, Receiving Less: Loss of Benefits and Child Hunger

September 14, 2010

New research from Children's HealthWatch shows that increases in income that trigger loss of public assistance benefits can leave young children without enough food to eat. Families hat have been cut off from SNAP or TANF when their income exceeds eligibility limits are more likely to experience levels of food insecurity that require reducing the size or frequency of children's meals compared to those currently receiving benefits. Previous research has demonstrated that both SNAP and TANF reduce the likelihood of food insecurity. Income eligibility guidelines should be re-examined to ensure that a modest increase in income does not disqulaify a family from the benefits they need to keep their children healthy and well-fed. Families that successfully increase their earnings should not find themselves worse off due to a resulting loss of benefits.

Healthy Families in Hard Times: Solutions for Multiple Family Hardships

July 6, 2010

New research by Children's HealthWatch finds that the cumulative effects of multiple hardships on young children, including a lack of nutritious food, unstable housing and inadequate home heating and cooling, decrease the chances of normal growth and development in very young children. The research shows that the greater the level of hardship experienced, the less likely a child was to be classified as 'well' on a composite indicator of well-being and the more likely their parents were to be concerned about their development.These current findings raise serious concerns about the future well-being of America's youngest children. Deprivations in early life can change the lifetime trajectory of children's health and development. Enhanced coordination across safety net programs, strong child nutrition programs, and an adequate supply of affordable housing could help offset the impacts of hardship on our nation's youngest and most vulnerable children.

Affordable Health Care Keeps Children and Families Healthy

March 1, 2010

The health of young children is negatively affected when parents have to forego health care for themselves or other adult members of the household or when parents have to forego payment of household expenses in order to pay for health care.

Child Care Feeding Programs Support Young Children's Healthy Development

March 1, 2010

New research by Children's HealthWatch shows that toddlers from low-income families who receive meals from their child care provider - those likely to be receiving CACFP - are in better health, have decreased risk for hospitalization, and are at healthier heights and weights for their age than those whose have to bring meals from home. As the nation's only nutrition program for young children in child care, CACFP is a critical component of a comprehensive approach to child nutrition.Changes to CACFP that expand access, reduce barriers and ensure that child care providers have the resources they need to provide healthy meals are beneficial for young children's health, growth and development.

WIC Improves Child Health and School Readiness

March 1, 2010

New research by Children's HealthWatch demonstrates that young children who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are more likely to be in excellent or good health and have a reduced risk of developmental delay. Investing in WIC supports the nutritional and health needs of young children during a critical window of brain and body growth.Progam improvements that decrease access barriers, provide the full amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the Institute of Medicine, and accommodate working parents' schedules will help young children reach their full potential.