What home environmental factors can affect a child’s health?

  • A home environment without adequate love, care and nutrition has a major effect on the health of children. Basic warmth, protection, clothing and food are essential.
  • Smoke due to a family member smoking cigarettes or a fire inside the house is detrimental to health. The risk of cot death is increased if a parent smokes while respiratory illnesses, especially asthma, are aggravated by smoke.
  • Clean water and adequate toilet facilities are essential to prevent diarrhea and other infectious diseases.
  • The correct preparation of food under clean conditions is important. Milk formula must be mixed correctly under hygienic conditions.
  • It is important to protect children from insects such as fleas, mosquitoes, flies and ticks which can spread disease.
  • The education level of the mother is very important. Mothers with little formal education are more likely to have children with malnutrition or illness.
  • Television. In well resourced countries obesity is closely associated with watching too much TV and too little physical exercise. Violence on TV may result in emotional and behaviour problems.

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