Cold Snaps - children’s health in a cold, damp home : influencing policy and practice

Article English OPEN
Powell-Hoyland, Vanessa ; Homer, Catherine ; Tod, Angela ; Nelson, Pete ; Cronin De Chavez, Anna ; Stocks, Amanda (2016)
  • Publisher: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University

Children living in cold homes experience worse outcomes. This paper considers some of the findings from the Warm Well Families (WWF) study, which aimed to explore factors influencing the abilities of households including children with asthma to keep warm at home in winter. Individual and group interviews with children, families and professionals were conducted and home temperature and humidity measurements were taken. The experience, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of adults living in households with children with asthma affect the choices they make. The concept of a ‘trade-off’ is used, to describe the complex process by which families in fuel poverty are juggling competing priorities in order to make decisions. The paper explores three participant families in detail, through the use of case studies, to illustrate the trade-offs made and the impact of those trade-offs on a family’s ability to keep warm and well at home. It is argued that policy initiatives and interventions need to engage with the full range of decisions families make, and the constraints on these decisions, in order to reduce the impact of fuel poverty on the wellbeing of families.
  • References (37)
    37 references, page 1 of 4

    Barnes, M., Butt, S. and Tomaszewski, W. (2008) The Dynamics of Bad Housing: The Impact of Bad Housing on the Living Standards of Children. London: National Centre for Social Research.

    Boardman, B. (2010) Fixing fuel poverty: challenges and solutions. London: Earthscan.

    Booth, A.T. and Choudhary, R. (2013) Decision making under uncertainty in the retrofit analysis of the UK housing stock: Implications for the Green Deal. Energy and Buildings, 64, 292-308.

    Child Health Impact Working Group (2007) Child Health Impact Assessment of Energy Costs and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. [Accessed: November 2015]

    Consumer Focus (2010) Cutting back, cutting down, cutting off, Self-disconnection among prepayment meter users. London: Consumer Focus.

    Consumer Focus (2012) Consumers and domestic heating controls: a literature review. London: Consumer Focus.

    Cronin de Chavez, A., Tod, A., Homer, C., Nelson, P., Stocks, A. and Powell-Hoyland, V. (2014) Warm Well Families: Rotherham Final Report. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University. Available at: Final_Report_March_2014.pdf [Accessed: November 2014]

    Department of Energy and Climate Change (2014) Process Evaluation of the Warm Front Scheme. Available at: uploads/attachment_data/file/322901/Warm_Front_Evaluation_Report.pdf [Accessed: June 15]

    Department of Energy and Climate Change (2015) Green Deal Finance Company funding to end. Available at: [Accessed: November 2015]

    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2001) The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy. London: Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs and Department of Trade and Industry.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark