187115 Reducing environmental hazards that affect preschool children in the district of columbia

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 11:30 AM

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH , Executive Director, Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN), Washington, DC
The District of Columbia (DC) has some of the nation's highest asthma rates in the country and childhood lead poisoning remains a serious problem. DC's high levels of air pollutants and older housing/building stock greatly contribute to these dangerous health issues affecting DC residents, especially its children. Over 60 percent of children below age 6 spend a majority of their time in child care and preschool facilities. Failing to protect children outside of the K-12 public school environment represents a serious oversight. Most child care providers do not have the knowledge to address environmental health issues in their facilities. The goal of this project is to prevent and reduce adverse childhood health effects from environmental hazards among licensed day care centers in DC by educating child care professionals and conducting environmental health assessments of facilities. Project objectives include increasing health and safety in child care facilities, increasing the knowledge base among child care providers, and distributing best practices and tools to stakeholders in the child care community. Two essential evaluation tools have been developed. The tools are used for environmental assessments of the targeted child care facilities, training child care providers and Directors to identify environmental hazard sources, and steps to minimize human exposure within child care facilities. As in CA and GA, child care providers connected to this project gain knowledge, awareness, and the tools needed to address environmental hazards and mobilize toward local protective policies.

Learning Objectives:
1) Participants will identify key environmental concerns and challenges within child care settings 2) Participants will apply lessons learned from CEHN's DC program toward children's health protection practices 3) Participants will identify key resources available for addressing environmental health concerns in child care settings

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Child Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 8 years of experience providing trainings on children's environmental health protection and 4 years of experience training child care professionals.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.