Poverty and child health: views from the frontline

Post date: 
11 May 2017

This report, published by CPAG and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, reveals the devastating impact of poverty on children's health as seen by doctors working at the frontline. Of a survey of over 250 paediatricians, two-thirds believe that poverty and low income contribute 'very much' to ill health among the children they work with.

Doctors report seeing respiratory problems caused by damp homes, and parents unable to afford the basics - such as healthy food and toothpaste - or unable to afford transport to visit their children in hospital. Many have been unable to discharge children from hospital because of concerns about poor housing or food insecurity. For families with a child with a disability or chronic health condition, poverty and poor housing can make things worse and make it harder for parents to provide the care children need. The findings also reveal the severe consequences of financial stress and insecurity for children's mental health and wellbeing.