The Effects of Environment on Child Development

Credit: The Spruce

If the village is raising your child, make sure you pick the right one.

If you have kids, then you’ve probably already or will-be-soon experiencing the many stages and phases of your child’s health mile-marks. The daily task of washing their hands, brainstorming and creating healthy meals, diverting their eyes from anything over PG, washing their hands, covering their ears from profanity, washing their hands, making sure they don’t put laundry detergent pods in their mouths, and last, but definitely not least, washing their hands. But trying to cover all the necessary areas to keep your child safe and healthy, you can forget the bigger picture: what effects their environment has on their health. More specifically, the neighborhoods we live in.

So, why does it matter what neighborhood we live in? Research has shown that the area we grow up in has an effect on our life expectancy, our ability to move up and down the economic ladder, and even our stress levels.

For example, neighborhoods that have high opportunities for its residents have shown to have life expectancies over 80 years, while low-opportunity neighborhoods have average life expectancies of 75. It’s also been found that children who grow up in poor areas will have an average income of around $29,000 once they hit the age of 35, and those from wealthier neighborhoods would be making around $45,000 a year.

Not only does our area of residence affect our life expectancies and income, but it can also affect the foods we eat to keep ourselves healthy. Even if we live in the same country or the same state, a huge difference can be seen of the availability of different food stuffs in the different areas. Poorer neighborhoods will have less fresh and healthier options which will prompt its residents to opt for cheaper, less healthy options.

So the next time you are considering a move, take a good look at the neighborhood and if it is a good fit for your child.