Children are 25 percent more likely to develop a serious illness if they live in poor housing, according to a new report from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
It also found 38 percent of homeless children have significant mental health or behavioural disorders. The study said they were more likely to be bullied and less likely to see their friends and were twice as likely to need hospitalisation as those living in permanent housing.
The RCPI is calling for urgent action for the thousands of children experiencing inadequate housing.
Dr. Julie Heslin, the reports lead author, says children are suffering badly:
"We've also identified that that impact on health lasts well beyond childhood and can be the cause of ill health in adulthood, things like depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity."