'Homeless' babies at risk of poor health
Babies born to homeless women are more likely to have poor health and development outcomes, says a study.
The findings showed that babies who experienced both pre- and post-natal homelessness and those who experienced homelessness for longer than six months were at a highest risk of negative health outcomes.
"These findings back up what we already knew about how the stress of homelessness affects children's heath," said Megan Sandel, paediatrician at Children's HealthWatch, from the Boston Medical Centre (BMC) in the US. "But this helps us determine which children are at greatest risk, and makes the argument that policymakers and providers need to intervene to change the trajectory of a child's development," Sandel added.
The study, published in Pediatrics, shows that the earlier and the longer a child experiences homelessness may have a larger cumulative toll of poor health and development outcomes.