4293.0 Healthy homes, day cares, and schools: Intervention in built environments for children

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM
Protecting children's environmental health is an essential part of promoting public health. Outside the womb, children continue to grow and develop between 0 and 5 years of age. Compared to adults and adolescents, children are frequently the most vulnerable lifestage to certain environmental exposures. Children within this age range spend a great deal of time in early learning environments such as child care centers, family day care homes, and other preschool facilities. In the United States, over 60 percent of children under the age of six are enrolled in some form of child care program. At this time there are no mandatory federal regulations specific to early learning environments that consistently regulate these facilities across all municipalities. Because state and local governments have the right to independently license and regulate these facilities, there are no consistent requirements for protecting children against environmental hazards found in these settings. State and local governments can therefore vary greatly with not only how they regulate early learning environments but also how they prioritize certain environmental hazards. Following an overview of the types of settings, common environmental exposures and existing regulations that govern early learning environments, studies and programs will be presented that aim to fill the gaps in policy. These include the Healthy Environments in Child Care and Preschools Program (HECCP) and the Eco Healthy Child Care Program (EHCC) and more specific studies on in-home asthma prevention and an investigation of smoking and radon exposure. The goals of the HECCP and EHCC programs were to help child care professionals 1) understand children's vulnerabilities to environmental health exposures; 2) identify environmental health hazards in and around child care facilities; and 3) develop methods to alleviate and remove environmental health hazards. A study on asthma management found that identification, education and remediation of home environmental triggers as part of a comprehensive asthma management program can contribute to significant reductions in asthma symptoms. Exposure to tobacco smoke and radon greatly increase lung cancer risk and investigators provided an assessment tool through a dual home screening protocol for home exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and radon.
Session Objectives: 1. Differentiate between the various types of early learning environments, and the environmental exposures specific to each type of setting and specifically asthma triggers, radon and smoking. 2. Identify federal and non-profit guidelines that currently protect children against environmental hazards early learning environments, including trainings, assessment and intervention programs. 3. Discuss gaps in knowledge and recommendations for improving children’s environmental health in early learning environments.
Robyn Gilden, PhD, RN
Robyn Gilden, PhD, RN

2:50 PM
Children's Hospital Boston Community Asthma Initiative: Addressing environmental allergens and irritants in households of children with poorly controlled asthma
Susan J. Sommer, MSN, RNC, AE-C, Urmi Bhaumik, MBBS, MS, DSc, Elaine Chan, BA, Massiel P. Ortiz, BSN, RN, Margarita Lorenzi, BS and Elizabeth R. Woods, MD, MPH
3:30 PM
Reducing radon and secondhand smoke in the home
Ellen J. Hahn, PhD, RN, Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Sarah Kercsmar, PhD, Sarah Adkins, MS, Jennifer Mason, AAS, Heather Robertson, MPA and Gwen Rinker, PhD, RN

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Maternal and Child Health, School Health Education and Services, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: Environment