Life in a single room

Originally published in The Boston Globe.

For Dr. Megan Sandel, such stories are all too familiar. As a lead researcher at Children’s HealthWatch, a research group at Boston Medical Center, Sandel has heard about the steady rise in overcrowding over the last few years in interviews with thousands of parents of young patients.

About 30 percent to 40 percent of the parents interviewed by doctors say they live in overcrowded apartments, Sandel said. Such conditions are associated with food insecurity, elevated anxiety for parents, and diminished academic performance for children, she said.

“If there’s literally no place to put the tablet or the computer they sent home with your kid or to be able to do the worksheets, it can be extremely difficult,” Sandel said.