Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Children's Health Impact on the Family

While parenting most often comes with unbelievable rewards, it also generates its fair share of challenges. One of those challenges can be our children’s health. In a recent study, the U.S. maternal and Child Health Bureau reported that children’s health problems can have dramatic impact on family functioning.

According to the survey, when parents of children with asthma or emotional or behavioral difficulties were asked about the degree of “burden” their children’s health condition created for the family, 16.3% of the parents of children with asthma reported a great deal or a medium amount of impact on their family. Twenty–eight percent of the parents with children who experienced emotional and behavioral difficulties reported a great deal or medium impact on family life.

For families with income below poverty, the impact on children’s health problem can be even greater. For these families, there may be financial losses, and it can also leave these parents vulnerable to losing their jobs when they have to tend to a sick child at home. Children in poor families were also twice as likely as those in higher-income families to have emotional and behavioral difficulties.

There may be some relief, however, in knowing that among children with asthma, the impact on families decline as the children get older. However the study reveals that the challenges get greater for families with children with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

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