Children from homes where English is not the primary language have far more health problems than other kids in the U.S. and have less access to health insurance.
The impact goes beyond those youngsters and their families, said study author Dr. Glenn Flores, director of general pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
"It ends up costing all society in missed school days and missed work days, and this is the population that is growing by leaps and bounds," said Flores, who published his findings in the June issue of Pediatrics. "The population surge that’s going on means that this is our future work force, so these things will affect everybody."
Flores' study found that Spanish is spoken in 62 percent of homes where English is not the primary language and that 42 percent of non-English-speaking households are poor based on federal standards. Only 13 percent of English-speaking households are poor.