142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Findings from an Environmental Health Intervention in Child Care Facilities in the District of Columbia

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM

Aurora 0. Amoah, MPH MPP , School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Joanne Perodin , Children's Environmental Health Network, Washington, DC
Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH , Children's Environmental Health Network (CEHN), Washington, DC

Exposure to environmental health hazards are a threat to children’s health and  although several young children  spend a greater part of their day in preschool facilities, child care givers are unable to identify and eliminate environmental hazards in the preschools. The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) launched a CDC funded intervention in the District of Columbia to enable care givers through knowledge to identify and reduce environmental health hazards in their environment.  


We conducted pre and post 90 minute environmental health facility assessments at 60 facilities over a 3 year period. Between the assessment visits, we conducted environmental health trainings targeted to the caregivers. We used a paired t-test to assess change in means on the knowledge assessment test and then the estimated environmental health risk scores for the facilities.


We observed a significant improvement in the knowledge scores each year (P= 0.001) with an average improvement of 20.94 points in year one, 17.27 in year two, and 14.65 points in year three.

For the facility assessment, there was a significant change in mean risk scores of 3.77 points (P= 0.0003).  The analysis by environmental subsection showed that significant changes occurred for general cleanliness and pesticide use only.

Of the 60 facilities, 68%   showed a positive change in their environmental health risk scores with facilities at higher risk at baseline more likely to show a positive improvement.


Environmental health trainings increased knowledge among the caregivers and we noted a positive improvement for cleanliness and pesticide use, which indicates that our intervention was able to affect change in those areas within the immediate control of the facility

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the development of the environmental health facility assessment tool Demonstrate the development of the environmental health training Modules for child care givers Demonstrate the process of environmental health facility assessment for the child care facilities Analyze data collected from environmental health training and facility assessment of child care facilities in the District of Columbia Evaluate the effect of the knowledge gain on the reduction of environmental hazards in child care facilities in the District of Columbia

Keyword(s): Child Health, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ms Amoah is Research Scientist with the New York Department City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) and a doctoral candidate at Tulane SPHTM. Together with Nsedu Witherspoon, they developed the project for Washington DC. Ms Amoah also designed the evaluation, the data collection tools and trained the project assistants to conduct the environmental assessments.
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.