Are there Consequences for Children in Filthy Homes

By Kyra Sheahan
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Children are vulnerable to hazards existing in natural environments. To keep kids safe and healthy, many parents and guardians attempt to keep a clean household to eliminate filth and hazards associated with dirty, cluttered atmospheres. Yet, not all children are fortunate enough to be raised filth-free. Raising a child in a filthy home is a form of neglect, and children who grow up in dirty, unsafe environments are at risk for facing emotional and physical consequences, according to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.

Poor Hygiene

Children who live in filthy homes may not understand, nor practice, good hygiene. Showering, brushing teeth, combing hair and washing clothes are examples of good hygiene when performed on a consistent basis. However, when kids come from filthy home environments, they don't always have access to clean clothes or parental direction to bathe or shower and brush their teeth every day.

Poor Health

Poor health is a consequence of children in filthy homes, according to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families. Not only do presenting home filth and hazards impact children's health during their youth, but it also makes people more susceptible to illnesses when they get older. For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dust mites, pet fur, mold and cockroach droppings left unclean trigger asthma attacks in children. In addition, dirty and messy environments breed germs and bacteria. Exposure to such conditions can cause kids to get sick due to the unsanitary conditions that aren't often cleaned or disinfected. Accordingly, many children get sick repeatedly because they never fully get rid of the germs or bacteria.

Learned Behavior

Children who grow up in a filthy home are learning the negative behaviors of their parents or guardians. According to the Health and Human Development in Asia, child maltreatment--such as poor living conditions--is most often a learned behavior, which means children are likely to repeat these behaviors as adults. Learned behaviors are things that can be changed or controlled. With the right support system in place, the cycle can be broken.

Mental Health Problems

Depression and other mental health ailments are conditions that children can get as a result of living in a neglectful home environment, according to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families. A dirty, messy or cluttered home might be overwhelming to some kids, causing them to become aggressive, angry or violent due to the frustration caused by their home environment.

Allegations of Neglect

When others in the community, such as school teachers, pastors and other parents, notice that a child in the neighborhood lives in a filthy home it becomes cause for concern. Allegations of child neglect may be filed against the child's parents or guardians with the state's children's services agency to ensure that the proper care for the child. If home environments are in severe conditions, child agencies may become concerned about the child's welfare and warn parents to improve the living conditions or risk having the child removed from the home and placed in foster care.

About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.