247494 Promoting Children's Environmental Health through Healthy Homes Training: Motivated workers in multiple sectors, barriers to integrated interventions, and challenges in housing—from survey results

Monday, October 31, 2011

Matthew Davis, MPH , Office of Children's Health Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Susan Aceti, MSW , National Center for Healthy Housing, Columbia, MD
Children spend the vast majority of their time indoors, and particularly in homes during their most vulnerable early years. Public health experts have long known of the connection between health and homes. Numerous possible environmental health hazards exist in modern homes, including lead, radon, formaldehyde, pesticides, pest allergens, and other pollutants. Children are more susceptible to many of these and other contaminants, because of differences in physiology, higher per body weight breathing rates and consumption, rapid development of the brain and bodily systems, and behaviors that increase chances for exposure. With a wide range of types of hazards, an integrated, cross-media approach can make homes healthier for children. A range of professionals who work in home environments can learn from and apply this holistic approach in their work, whether they are public health nurses, sanitarians, code inspectors, case managers, community health workers, weatherization workers or child care specialists. In order to teach these workers how to identify and address various hazards, EPA has partnered with the National Healthy Homes Training Center to provide healthy homes trainings across the country. Results of training evaluations and follow-up surveys show that: a wide range of professionals are interested to learn about healthy homes, barriers on the job such as lack of funding, time and codes keep them from implementing what they learn from the training, and persistent challenges in homes include mold, cleanliness and cleaning supplies, and lead hazards. A full analysis of the results of the surveys will be presented from recently completed trainings. Results from the surveys will allow improved continuation of the training partnership in terms of tailored outreach to specific professions, and strategies for troubleshooting barriers to implementation that trainees may encounter.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define opportunities for implementing healthy homes approaches; discuss barriers to implementing holistic healthy homes approach; demonstrate basic healthy homes and children’s health concepts; identify emerging opportunities for integrating healthy homes concepts into facilities management practices, home renovations and upgrades, weatherization and energy retro-fits

Keywords: Children's Health, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assist on healthy homes program for the Office of Children's Health Protection.
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.