Online Program

Raising Awareness of the Role of Child Care Providers in Ensuring Children's Environmental Health

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Barbara Fiese, PhD, Family Resiliency Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Brenda Koester, MS, Family Resiliency Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
The goal of the Children’s Environmental Health Research Center at Illinois is to study the effect of ubiquitous chemicals found in plastics and personal care products on children’s neurological and reproductive development and function. The Center’s research is also addressing whether obesity or a diet high in saturated fats interacts with exposures to these chemicals to increase risk, and whether oxidative stress and/or inflammation play a role in mediating the effects of these chemicals.  An important component goal of the Center is to communicate findings to stakeholders including parents, healthcare providers, policy makers, and child care providers through the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC).

Child care providers are particularly important to target as in the United States most children under 5 years of age spend a significant amount of waking hours in non-parental child care. Recent analysis have indicated that endocrine-disrupting chemicals are wide-spread in child care but the knowledge of their risks by child care providers may be non-existent or nascent. To date, the focus of environmental health in child care has been on more immediate safety (e.g. choking.)

We 1) surveyed child care providers in rural, urban, and micro-urban settings regarding their current child care routines relevant to endocrine disruptor exposures and their understanding of the role these chemicals play in children’s environmental health 2) conducted in-depth interviews with a sub-sample to determine the best strategies for targeting messaging 3) developed messaging targeting child care providers illustrating strategies for reducing exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of child care providers in ensuring children's environmental health. Identify child care providers knowledge of their routines relevant to endocrine disrupting chemicals. Discuss ways to target messages to child care providers on how to reduce exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Keyword(s): Environmental Health, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the Community Outreach and Research Translation for the Illinois Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center and the Principal Investigator of the study "Needs Assessment of Child Care Providers". I am a trained psychologist with a research interest in children's health and well-being and in environmental health risk communication.
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.