A Healthy Start

Children grow and learn better when they are born healthy and practice healthy habits throughout childhood, including proper nutrition and exercise, and have access to high quality learning opportunities. Healthy and well-nourished children are more able to develop their minds and bodies as they should, and they are far more capable of concentrating, learning and thriving throughout their school years.

In contrast, children born from unhealthy pregnancies, who don’t have access to quality health care and opportunities to learn and develop are much more likely to suffer developmental setbacks that will put them behind their peers even before they reach kindergarten. These setbacks also occur when children are raised in highly stressed home environments that do not offer adequate health care services or guidance on proper diet and exercise.

The educational consequences include falling even further behind because they miss too much school, or struggling to concentrate in class because they feel sick or hungry, are unable to see properly for lack of vision screening, or are hurting from unchecked ear infections or dental problems.

From life’s first starting line of birth, young people who are immersed in healthy environments that allow them and their parents to stay focused on meeting developmental milestones and make healthful life choices are far more likely to stay healthy and grow to their full potential.

 

Related Resources

Every Child Every Promise: Turning Failure into Action

Jan 14, 2014This report presents the first national research that comprehensively measures the presence of the essential resources -- the Five Promises -- that correlate with success in both youth and adulthood. The report clearly shows that we have much work to do as a nation. But it also shows how we can turn failure into action and improve the lives of young people at risk.