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Friday, June 9, 2017

Children from low-income families develop earlier

It’s not exactly a surprise that children from low-income families are at a disadvantage. The government-funded Head Start program in the United States attempts to reduce some of the inequalities when it comes to education, but how do children in poverty fare physiologically? And what can be done to ensure their health and well-being? Researcher Ying Sun, a visiting academic at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia, detailed a study she conducted looking at how income affected puberty rates in children in The Conversation. Using the country’s Growing Up in Australia study, the team asked 3,700 parents about signs of puberty observed in their children between the ages of eight and nine and 10 to 11. In girls, signs include developing breasts, pubic and armpit hair, menstruation and acne. Boys typically exhibit cues like increased facial and pubic hair, growth spurt, muscle growth and acne.

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