254753 Preliminary data analysis of the Eco-Healthy Child Care® program checklist and Train-the-Trainer program

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Robyn Gilden, PhD, RN , Department of Family and Community Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Katie McElroy, MS, RN , Department of Family and Community Health, University of MD School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Nse Obot Witherspoon , Children's Environmental Health Network, Washington DC, DC
Chemical exposure in early childhood is critical because young children are in a state of rapid growth and development. Extended hours in child care, for many children more than 40 hours/week, are needed to accommodate working parents' schedules. This results in increased exposure to any hazardous chemicals that may be present. Chemical exposures have been implicated in many serious health effects and chronic diseases resulting in disability, high health care costs, and possibly death. The EcoHealthy Childcare Program ® is a national program with two components – a self-report checklist of environmental stewardship practices (practices that minimize or eliminate risks of exposure) and a train-the-trainer workshop to increase participants' knowledge of environmental exposure to hazardous substances in child care facilities. Topics on both the checklist and training cover chemical hazards linked to known serious health outcomes like lead, pesticides, mercury, and radon. This presentation will describe the methods and results of a study analyzing 396 checklists and 92 TtT participants. The data were analyzed in SPSS version 19 to include frequencies, descriptives and other analyses. Initial results of the training analysis show significant improvement in knowledge overall (p<.001) and behaviors that are easily modifiable at the center level (p<.001). Analysis of the checklist data identified several areas for targeted education and resources that at least 10% of centers did not complete, such as not using air fresheners or aerosols, no lead in toys, recycling, and radon testing. Data generated from this pilot study will guide future research on the connection between hazards identified and state regulations and recommendations. Results from this and future studies can inform about exposures and guide decision making and policy changes to reduce children's environmental exposures to hazardous materials in child care facilities and to improve the health of both children and staff at the centers.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the purpose and importance of the research project. 2. Describe the data analysis process. 3. Identify the outcomes and questions for further investigation.

Keywords: Child Care, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in Community Public Health Nursing at(UMSON) and work in the Environmental Health Education Center. My doctoral dissertation focused on assessing athletic field maintenance practices, including use of pesticides, and implementation of safer alternatives. The overall goal of protecting children in community settings led to a partnership with the CEHN on their EHCC Program. I have experience with data analysis and am conducting this project with internal funding from the UMSON.
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.