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The Health of Homeless Children

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President & Founder, Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston ... teenage birth rate, physical inactivity, childhood obesity, not eating breakfast, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Health of Homeless Children


1
The Health of Homeless Children
  • David S. Buck, MD, MPH
  • President Founder, Healthcare for the
    Homeless-Houston
  • Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

2
It is estimated that Families with Children
Account for 45 of the Homeless Population.
American Academy of Pediatrics. The Committee on
Community Health Services. Health Needs Of
Homeless Children. Pediatrics. 179-791. 984. Oct
1996.
3
RELATIVE CHILD POVERTY IS ASSOCIATED WITH
HEALTH, AND, IN PARTICULAR, THE HEALTH OF
NATIONS.
Emerson, E. Relative Child Poverty, Income
inequality, Wealth, and Health. JAMA. 425-6.
3014. 28 Jan 2009.
4
(No Transcript)
5
INCREASED RATES OF CHILD POVERTY HAVE BEEN
ASSOCIATED WITH WORSE HEALTH OUTCOME
Emerson, E. Relative Child Poverty, Income
inequality, Wealth, and Health. JAMA. 425-6.
3014. 28 Jan 2009.
6
  • Poorer overall child well-being, infant
    mortality, low birth weight, not having
    immunizations, child mortality due to
    unintentional injuries, juvenile homicide, low
    educational attainment, dropping out of school,
    nonparticipation in higher education, aspiring to
    low skill work, poor peer relations, having been
    bullied, teenage birth rate, physical inactivity,
    childhood obesity, not eating breakfast, feeling
    lonely, and mental health problems

Bassuk, E. Homeless Families. Scientific
American. Dec. 1991 66-74 Emerson, E. Relative
Child Poverty, Income inequality, Wealth, and
Health. JAMA. 425-6. 3014. 28 Jan 2009.
7
Homeless children are not simply at-risk, most
suffer specific physical, psychological, and
emotional Damage.
  • Homelessness and Its Effects on Children, The
    Family Housing Fund

8
Illness each month
Extended care post-birth
Chronic problems
Infectious disease
Respiratory infections
Hospitalized Asthma
Stunted growth
Anemia
2x
3x
4x
5x
6x
Increased likelihood in homeless children.
Homelessness and Its Effects on Children, The
Family Housing Fund
9
EXPOSURE TO POVERTY (LOW SES) AS A CHILD IS
ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED MORTALITY MORBIDITY
IN ADULTHOOD.
Emerson, E. Relative Child Poverty, Income
inequality, Wealth, and Health. JAMA. 425-6.
3014. 28 Jan 2009.
10
Access to healthcare, particularly preventive
healthcare, is impaired for homeless families and
children.
American Academy of Pediatrics. The Committee on
Community Health Services. Health Needs Of
Homeless Children. Pediatrics. 179-791. 984. Oct
1996.
11
Consequences of Lack of Access to Care
  • Health is a low priority when focused on food and
    shelter
  • Frequent relocation results in lack of a health
    home.
  • Acute problems trips to the ER or clinics
  • Episodic and fragmented care

12
Consequences of Lack of Access to Care
  • Continuity of care is rarely comprehensive or
    nonexistent
  • High rates on under immunization
  • High rates of unmet health needs

13
The impact of homelessness From birth through
school aged
14
Before Birth
  • Majority of homeless parents are single mothers,
    many of whom were homeless as children.
  • Many obstacles to healthy pregnancies
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic and acute health problems
  • Lack of prenatal care

15
Infants
  • More likely to have low birth weight
  • At greater risk of death
  • Exposed to environmental factors that endanger
    health
  • Lack essential immunizations
  • Attachment disorders

16
Toddlers
  • Significant developmental delays after 18 months
  • Influences later behavior
  • Causes emotional problems

17
Preschoolers
  • Often homeless children are separated from their
    parents causing long term negative effects
  • Receive fewer services than other children their
    age

18
School Aged
  • Affects social, physical and academic lives
  • Frequent relocation Lack of relationship
    building
  • Intermittent, perhaps prolonged, bought of not
    going to school
  • Health and psychological problems continued from
    early childhood

19
With early and consistent intervention, children
can overcome many of the effects of poverty and
homelessness.
  • Homelessness and Its Effects on Children, The
    Family Housing Fund

20
Support Services Should Treat the Family
  • Should receive at least the following services
  • Long-term supportive housing
  • Drug/Alcohol treatment for the parent, if
    applicable
  • Parenting education
  • After school tutoring for child
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