10 Ways the Government Shutdown Has Impacted Children
10. Access to Child Care: Many students enrolled at early childhood education programs in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida weren’t able to attend as some of the Head Start programs were closed due to the government shutdown; a $10 million donation has reopened seven programs in six states, but funding for other programs may run out by the end of the month.
9. Nutrition: Millions of vulnerable mothers and children are at risk of losing nutritional support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) by the end of this month, when emergency funding for the program is expected to run out. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/56955042-90/agriculture-clinics-department-emergency.html.csp
8. National Institute of Health: Fewer critically ill patients, including children, have been admitted to the clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health; normally, about 200 patients are admitted each week but only 12 were admitted last week.
7. Center for Disease Control: Even though flu season is fast approaching, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stopped their seasonal influenza program that monitors the spread of the flu.
6. Product safety: According to a Senate shutdown report, approximately 95 percent of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have been furloughed and CPSC port inspectors would normally screen items like children’s products that contain high amounts of lead and children’s sleepwear that violates flammability standards; with fewer than 25 staff at work nationwide, the CPSC receives reports but cannot report them at safeproducts.gov; they have not investigated incidents like a two-year-old girl crushed to death by a falling television in San Diego, California
5. Winter Heat: The federally-funded low-income heating energy assistance program (LIHEAP) will be delayed, making it difficult for kids and their parents to stay warm in the winter months.
4. Furloughs: Parents of kids are feeling stressed as the government shut down squeezes their savings.
3. Rental Assistance: States may not have enough federal funding to provide rental assistance to low-income families if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stays closed.
2. Zoos, Museums, and National Parks: Kid-friendly sites like the National Zoo (with its panda cam) and the Smithsonian Institution have been closed, meaning less exploration opportunities for children and families of all income levels.
1. School Lunches: According to the School Nutrition Association, school administrators are unsure whether they can sustain the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program after Nov. 1 as the Agriculture Department said that no money can be guaranteed for the program after that date.