The United States considers households below 200 percent of the poverty line as low income, although its reality can differ between states. For example, a family of four living in the Bay Area can already be considered as low income even if they earn a six-figure income.
Either way, the effects of not having enough money to meet the basic needs are profound, especially among children. Young as they are, they will already face serious health challenges, including the following:
Increased risk of obesity
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every three kids will become either overweight or obese before they celebrate their fifth birthday. This health problem tends to be more prevalent among those from low-income families. At least one in every seven of these children will more likely be obese.
Higher chances of severe asthma
Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the United States, and while it can occur in both children and adults, the former are more likely to suffer from an attack. Depending on the severity, it can be life-threatening.
The chances of having severe asthma, however, are higher among low-income families. In fact, in one of the studies in New York City, those who are considered low income visited the ER more often. Another study in California showed similar results.
More frequent and severe asthma attacks in low-income families may be common due to a number of factors. First, many of them live in poor-quality housing with plenty of triggers. These include dust and insects such as roaches. Further, they lack quick and convenient access to healthcare, including medications.
Improving the lives of low-income families isn’t quick or easy, but governments are already making huge efforts. With the help of The Rx Solution, parents can also take advantage of medication assistance for low-income families, which can give them access to discount programs.
It takes a community to help low-income children, but hopefully, the assistance they require doesn’t come too late.