HK poverty affects children's bones

NEARLY 80 percent of children living below the poverty line suffer from spinal problems.

One in every four children in Hong Kong, or 246,000, lives under the poverty line. They include about 40,000 in inappropriate locations such as partitioned flats.

This is the finding of a survey conducted by the Society for Community Organisation (Soco, 香港社區組織協會). Soco said it surveyed 142 poor children, mostly aged 12 and below, from last October to last month.

The children were given free checks by the Hong Kong Chiropractic College Foundation (香港脊骨神經科醫學院基金). It found almost 80 percent suffer from some kind of spinal problem.

Soco quoted the chiropractors as saying 97 percent of these problems could be traced to their living conditions.

Tests found 58 percent of the children did not have their backs divided into two equal halves by their spine.

Almost 30 percent showed bulges or indentations on their ribs. 37 percent had unbalanced shoulders, 17 percent had imbalanced waistlines and 19 percent with legs of different lengths indicating problems with their pelvis.

Two-thirds of the children said the environment in which they lived made it hard for them to study. Half said they had emotional problems.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 18 March 2016)

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