Among preschool children, divorce generally had small negative effects on their social adjustment but no effects in other domains. By contrast, children of primary school age appeared to suffer greater negative effects from divorce. The authors note that the better designed studies included in the meta-analysis found smaller effects from the divorce. One-third (33.2 percent) of all births in America in 2000 were of children born to an unmarried mother , and 22.4 percent of all children live with a single parent . Longitudinal national survey studies reveal that children reared in families with two biological parents tend to complete more schooling and engage in less risky behavior , particularly if their SES is high.
Supervision has been shown to be inconsistent, age appropriateness is infrequently indicated, and many playgrounds have had equipment with significant safety issues . Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which regulates work hours and safety, children younger than 18 are prohibited from working with hazardous chemicals in nonagricultural jobs. Prohibitions on chemical work in agriculture extend only to age 16, and work by children and adolescents on their own family farms is unregulated at the national level. During 1992–1995, 155 deaths were reported among agricultural workers age 19 and younger; 64 of these youths were working in their family’s business . For each death, many more experience nonfatal injury , usually from farm machinery or exposure to toxins.
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While this social gradient in health is now certain for nonelderly adults, evidence for its existence in children and youth is less well documented. Case et al. documented increasing income gradients in health across childhood in several U.S. national surveys. Underlying most explanations for the link between low SES and impaired health are the diminished resources available to families living in poverty.
- Improving the conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play and the quality of our relationships will create a healthier population, society, and workforce.
- By working to establish policies that positively influence social and economic conditions and those that support changes in individual behavior, we can improve health for large numbers of people in ways that can be sustained over time.
- A neighborhood that is free from violence, crime, and pollution gives children and adults a safe place for physical activity.
- A home that is close to grocery stores makes it easier for families to buy and eat healthy foods.
- Being surrounded by all of these things helps you live a healthier life.
- A thriving neighborhood also offers employment, transportation, and good schools.
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The built environment may be defined as the part of the physical environment created by human actions—buildings and parks, roads and trails, neighborhoods and cities. This section illustrates the importance of the built environment by describing how land use and related transportation patterns that characterize an entire metropolitan area affect injuries, air quality, and herpes simplex physical activity patterns . The use of playground equipment is the leading cause of injuries to children in school and child care environments, with 211,000 children receiving emergency department care annually for injuries sustained on playgrounds . Factors influencing playground injury prevention include supervision, age-appropriateness of equipment, suitable fall surfaces, and equipment maintenance.
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Natural sources include radon, cosmic radiation, and ingested radon and fallout. The consequences of exposure for children’s health include birth defects from prenatal exposures , neurological damage in younger children, and cancer .