One of the main social problems of young children is said to be that of being poor. In recent studies, the rate of children living a poor lifestyle in industrialised societies has increased, mainly in the United States. In another study conducted, it was resulted that the number of underage children in the US living in poverty rose by 22% in 2010. Poverty has a huge impact on young children and is likely to effect their personal life and their social life, mainly at school.
If the child’s parents are living in poverty, he/she will have a lack of basic resources, lack of access to health care and inadequate security. In undeveloped countries, such as Syria and Afghanistan, children live in extreme poverty as result of weather conditions such as draughts, which eventually leads to a lack of food growth. There have been problems regarding a non-balanced healthy diet and lack of health care mainly that of vaccinations in poorer countries. Owing to the fact that malnutrition is a huge problem, children will end up being very underweight and will eventually suffer from slow body growth and development. The first United Nations World Summit for Children which took place in the 1990s was all about several goals to be achieved for the life of poor children to be improved.
Poverty damages the young child’s future life chances. Hecht (1998) had a particular study focusing on children living on the streets of Brazil. They managed to get through by begging for money, stealing and being violent with others to obtain what they want. According to Hecht, most of these children ended up being murdered. He argued that these children “embody the failure of an unacknowledged social apartheid to keep the poor out of view.” (1998, p.214). As a result of living in poor countries, children end up missing out on all stages of education.
Their parents or guardians would not be able to send them to school to get a good education, buy them school supplies, a school uniform or help them with their homework. Poverty can negatively affect young children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. Malnutrition can effect the way children learn, as concentration would be at the lowest point and they would find it difficult to memorise, study and pay attention.