With the amount of talk going on around the country about economics, it’s important to take a look at how poverty actually affects health. Whether people have affordable health care or not, it’s generally something we all pay for through our tax dollars, so we might as well be realistic about the topic. Here are the ways poverty affects health for everyone.
In the Beginning
Assuming a person in poverty has grown up in poverty, one major element to consider that seems to be present in all homes is stress. When a parent isn’t sure how to pay for what you need, it creates a level of anxiety. Mothers and unborn children tend to pay for this the most as stress combined with an unhealthy diet leads to low birth weight and a higher likelihood of heart disease or diabetes. Kids born into a family with high-stress levels tend to have faster heartbeats on average, which puts a lot of stress on a body in the early years. If a child lives in a poorly regulated neighborhood, they’re also much more likely to have some type of lead exposure which can lead to brain damage and a host of problems for the child later on in life. These create long hospital stays later on in life when the problems reach their boiling point.
In the Long-Run
Preventative care actually can help offset many of these effects, but getting the country to agree on what types of preventative care measures should be implemented is difficult. For example, part of our country’s budget is set aside remove the traces of lead from pipes and walls from older buildings which have been shown to save the taxpayers through less health care spending. However, this measure keeps getting voted down so less money goes into the program every year. Poor tooth development through a lack of dental care may cause a child to have rotting teeth which lead to a more difficult time finding a job. Advocates have seen success through giving fluoride varnishes to children living in poverty, and educating mothers about proper bottle-holding technique. Whichever side of the political divide you’re on, it seems clear that if preventative care isn’t implemented, we do pay for the effects of poverty on families in one form or another.
Take a Good Look
However you feel about this topic, it’s important to remember the real facts of the matter here. Children in poverty get a terrible head start in life and it benefits no one. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that we will all agree how to mitigate these effects, but it’s important to remember that we are all connected to this issue. If you want to write to your Congressmen to either laud or condemn certain programs, you can use onlinefaxes.com to securely send your letters and documents.