Current Research Gives Alarming Portrait of Latino Infants and Toddlers

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - SaludA new comprehensive study presents an alarming portrait of Latino infants and toddlers, a generation that will be marked by significant inequalities as they are born into families without resources to provide them the tools for success. The study shows these youngsters facing “multiple-risk factors” that will negatively impact their development.

The study “The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States,” was conducted by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in partnership with Child Trends. The report found that 48 percent of America’s infants and toddlers live in low-income families whereas 66 percent of black and Latino infants and toddlers live in low -income families. While, nearly 24 percent of black and Latino infants and toddlers live in households without enough food or access to sufficient healthy food on a regular basis. When Latino infants and toddlers were looked at separately a range of social issues were identified as creating disadvantages, such as:

  • Half as likely to have family members read to them, and a third less likely to be sung to or have stories told to, compared with their white, non-Latino peers;
  • Nine percent less likely than their non-Latino white counterparts to get preventive medical care;
  • Thirty-nine percent more likely to get preventive dental care; however, their teeth are in poorer condition;
  • Nearly three times more likely to experience frequent residential moves; and
  • Like their black, non-Latino counterparts, their parents (four times more so than the parents of white children) have significant concerns about their development.

The study recommends funding initiatives that help communities minimize the risk factors by addressing healthy development, parent support, and access to quality early childhood programs.

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