Clean water and soap may help improve growth in young children

A review has found evidence of small but significant improvements in growth of children under the age of five who have access to clean water and soap.

Analysis of data drawn from 14 studies in low and middle income countries suggested that interventions to improve the quality of the water in the household and provide soap resulted in an average 0.5cm increased height growth in children under the age of five.

Poor height growth, or stunting, affects 165 million children worldwide and results in long term impacts on physical and mental development, increasing the risk of mortality and reducing productivity in adulthood.

The authors note there are limitations in the available data for analysis as the main findings of the review are based on relatively short-term studies (9-12 months in duration).

Read more at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine