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Environmental Factors – Damp and overcrowded housing

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A Childs development and healthy growth are dependent on many different factors, this includes the environment that they live. England shelter says that research has been done to prove that a child’s life chances are affected by the standard of living and will affect them in the present and in the future.

What is bad housing?

Bad housing covers a wide range of housing environments, bad housing consists of homeless, overcrowding, insecurity, housing that is poor in physical condition and living with deprived neighbours.

Physical development

Children living in poor conditioned housing and overcrowded housing may be underweight due to income from the family, or may be not getting the vital dietary needs that someone needs. Children living in damp and overcrowded housing may be unhygienic and will be at a high-risk of illnesses and infections.

Infections and can be spread through things as little as breathing, if living in an overcrowded house meant sparing beds, then the risk of catching an infection and the majority of the house hold catching the infection is very high. Increasing the risks of meningitis, asthma (due to the damp conditions) and slow growth which is linked to coramy heart disease. England. Shelter says that poor housing conditions increase the risk of server ill health or disability by to 24% during childhood and early adulthood.

Intellectual development

Children living in crowded housing will affect the ability for them to learn and will miss school more frequently due to illness and infections, this makes learning difficult for that child and makes socializing also very difficult. Overcrowded housing could result in that child not having anywhere to do his or hers work, not giving them study time to even catch up on the work that they have missed out on, or they may just not have the time to study and may need to help with family income, by having a part time job. Poor living conditions could result in struggle of getting employment after education, due to lack or education.

Social Development

Due to missing school children living in poor conditions may feel excluded from friendship groups, or even may not have any friends due to the amount of time of school. children may find it difficult to accept that the child with poor housing does not have a lot of money and may not be able to take part in activities with friends outside of school hours. Not having friends around for dinner or for a birthday party could impact on the child greatly, if they are not invited around because the child living in poor housing has not ever invited them around their house before. Bullying may occur due to not having the new gadgets or the new clothes that some of the peers at school may have. This could even result in not having any friends because of clothing and they are not considered ‘’cool’’. Poor housing increases the risk of antisocial behaviour and the child is likely to take this through to adulthood. They may get involved in drugs and alcohol abuse due to lack of employment and struggle to get a job.

Emotional development

Children living in overcrowded housing may have behavioural problems, experience psychological stress or become depressed and struggle with anxiety. This could be down to social experience of bullying, or antisocial behaviour in the house hold and not know any differently. A child living with poor housing conditions may be angry for being brought into the world with so little and may feel that this life was not meant for them. They may feel desperate to have more money and to have a better house, they may see life as a struggle and blame other people on their absence of housing and security. They may feel that because of the overcrowded environment that they have a strong family and appreciate what they have. Children or young adults could experience different feelings. They may feel lost and may find that alcohol abuse and drug abuse may be the only way out for them, and suffer from mental health issues.

Poor housing and overcrowded housing can cause many different issues in a child’s development especially their health and their education. The governments every child programme- aims to help every child, whatever background, giving them access to support that they may need. This could be health, staying safe, to enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and to achieve economic wellbeing.

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