237844 Including the child care setting when promoting healthy communities, minds and bodies

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH , Children's Environmental Health Network, Washington DC, DC
“Healthy Communities” that “Promote Healthy Minds & Bodies” must address all environments where children spend their time -- including child care and preschools -- if they are to be truly healthy. Research increasingly shows that the first years of a child's life are critical to shaping their future health and development. Children are especially vulnerable to harmful substances in their environment. Unhealthy environments are linked to both acute health effects (asthma episodes, headaches, sneezing) and chronic health effects (asthma, learning disabilities, some cancers). Sixty percent of U.S. preschoolers are in child care and the choices made by their care provider can have a major impact on their current and future health. Yet comprehensive pediatric environmental health considerations are not yet routinely incorporated into the operations of child care facilities, nor into the training and certification of child care professionals in the United States. Licensing of child care facilities does not assure that environmental health is addressed. No state child care licensing standards address all of the environmental health toxics commonly found in child care settings. When surveyed, child care professionals express interest in providing healthier environments and in resources to help them do so. Several interventions to assist child care providers in improving the environmental health of the child care setting, each taking a different approach, are underway. This session will provide an overview of these programs and resources available for child care health consultants and other MCH professionals in these interventions.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. List three programs or approaches to incorporating children’s environmental health in the child care setting 2. Identify two resources that provide support to child care providers or that provide support to child care trainers, health care nurses, consultants and other professionals in assisting child care providers in improving environmental health.

Keywords: Child Care, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have overseen the progress of this work from its beginning and i have served as a trainer for the program.
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.