Environmental Factors that can affect the Health of Infants

Environmental Factors that can affect the Health of Infants

Environmental Factors that can affect the Health of Infants


            Child mortality rates and improvements in health are dependent on the environmental factors that surround their existence and affect their day-to-day interactions. Due to the behavior, physiology and size of children, they exhibit vulnerability levels higher than that of adults in a similar condition. For example, the exposure levels of toxins and environmental hazards occur at twice the incidence levels and produce far-reaching consequences on the growth and development of children as compared to adults. One of the most important environmental factors capable of affecting infants’ health is safe drinking water and sanitation. Waddington (2009) argues that inadequate sanitation and contaminated water for consumption causes a range of diseases, which in most cases life threatening. The most deadly amongst the potential hazards is diarrhea. Between eighty to ninety percent of the results are from environmental conditions through negligence and lack of proper care.


            Diarrhea can be defined as the condition where an individual has loose liquid movements in the bowel on a rate of two or three per day. It can last for a few days and consequently cause dehydration in the body (Cairncross and Hunt, 2012). The resultant effects can be witnessed through normal stretchiness of the skin and personality changes in the same. The severity of the diarrhea is then responsible for the turn in a loss of life or responsiveness to normal physiological functions in the body. The common cause is usually infections within the intestines from the parasite, bacteria or viral in a condition termed as gastroenteritis. The condition has implications that threaten the health and life of infants, especially with their physical abilities and demands in growth and development. In addition, malnutrition and mental hindrance can all be attributed to the same causative agents as before.

            Due to contaminated water and contact with ineffective sanitation standards, children are prone to have complications at every instance. The viral gastroenteritis has led to the loss of lives in infants under the age of five years. On the global scale, it is estimated that about two thousand children die on a daily basis from the diarrheal diseases. Ninety percent of the deaths are linked to hygiene, water, and sanitation. The interactions realized between recurrent diarrhea, malnutrition, and impaired child development is a concern for every population and nation. The rate of transmission of the virus in contaminated water is complex and, therefore, makes it harder to prevent and treat. On an average, various intervention measures account for twenty-five percent of the improvement in child mortality rates recorded to soar up to sixty-five percent (World Health Organization, 2015). The settings are dependent on different levels of economies, backgrounds, infrastructure, planning and actualization.

             In the natural environment, dangerous chemicals in solvents occur in the groundwater such as fluoride and arsenic. Once the children are in contact with the contaminated water sources, development of hazardous implications to their health is relatively quicker. An increased aggravation is witnessed by the compounded poor nutritional basis in the health systems. The availability of water in its simplest form is already a daunting task to the majority of the non-developed nations. Availability of clean and safe levels of the water is then regarded as a higher obstacle for such countries to meet them. Water stress and scarcity are all measures affecting each continent with increased pressure from population growth. The trends observed point to a negative outlook for the future considering the growth rates and failing stressors to the effect. Minimum water availability is then translated into low maintenance of personal hygiene, sanitary conditions at home without even considering the risks associated with children’s involvement.

Recommendations and Interventions

            For interventions and preventive measures to be effective in the populations, commitment and inclusive approaches can determine the success of objectives. Sanitation can significantly reduce the chances of diarrhea attacks in infants especially under the age of five (World Health Organization, 2015). For example, use of water filters, provision and mandatory availability of clean, piped and high-quality ware to all people as well as ensuring that sewer connections are adequate can be enabled. At the institutional levels, households and community initiatives, hand washing can be promoted with educative measures to all and young children. In the developing nations, measures aimed at reducing the open defecation habits can also be of use in countering the incidence levels. By using toilets and ensuring that, entire sanitation implementation is achieved significant reductions can be witnessed. In the latter’s case, provision of sanitation access determines the response by the populations and efficient uses.

            Fundamental government and help from non-governmental organization efforts towards immunizations should be prioritized. The targeted pathogens in vaccination are then responsible for minimizing ay attack incidences within the bodies of the children as they grow and develop. Improved measures of countering dietary deficiencies should also be taken up by the different nations while targeting the lower level of social classes. In the incidences of occurrences, safety promotion and reduction objectives are of most importance. Infants are therefore provided with oral rehydration therapy controls at instant accounts for securing of their lives and health. Medication and feeding programs can then be instituted to aid in normal intestinal recovery and functionality. In cases of acute diarrhea, all children should be administered with antibiotics according to their proper ages.  

Part 2


            The preventive measures and objective safety controls in the environmental factors that affect health and safety of infants are important in the society today. Water and sanitation levels determine the overall child mortality, mental development, and their respective growth incidence. Having undertaken the role of providing the useful lessons on water and sanitation levels to my neighbor, provisional factors were necessary for the exercise. The parent is forty-three years old while the spouse is only thirty-nine. They have a seven-year-old boy and a younger brother who is two and half years. The family is of a middle-income level while the education is up to the tertiary level in the parents. The learning interaction was out of concern for the studied levels and effects of diarrhea from contaminated water and limited proper sanitation levels    


            The interaction was short due to the demands of the parent while the material covered had to be made possible with hard copy evidence. The communication was commendable as the importance of the infants’ health was paramount. In particular, the provision of causative agents, the process of the inhibition, and possible preventive and treatment mechanisms increased the relevance. In addition, the perspective of global scale and delivered standards helped in creating the required response in the family as well as other individuals. However, I would like to express an area of concern, which requires improvement especially in the input levels from other members of the community. The concerns should be a reminder of the entire population as it affects the lives of infants and their health. In turn, it translates to developmental needs of the nation in general. Therefore, input should be from all people.


Cairncross, S & Hunt, C. (2012). Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for the Prevention of Diarrhea. International Journal of Epidemiology, 39, 193-205. 

Waddington, H. (2009). Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions to combat childhood diarrhea in developing countries. New Delhi: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation.

World Health Organization. (2015). Water and Sanitation. Web. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehwater2/en/

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