Top Three Questions
- Office of Children's Health Protection
- Student Curriculum: Recipes for Healthy Kids and a Healthy Environment
- President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks & Safety Risks to Children and Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 288K, About PDF)
- School Siting Guidelines and Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 109K, About PDF)
- What You Can Do
- Recent Product Recalls
- Environmental Education
- Healthy School Environments
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- America's Children and the Environment
EPA Celebrates Children's Health Month - Protecting Children in the Heartland
At a Children’s Health Month event, EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks joined a group of seventh grade students from Brody Middle School in a water quality testing exercise at Des Moines Water Works Park in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 3. Brooks also visited the school and worked with students so they could understand EPA’s role in protecting water quality. The students are learning about Iowans’ water pollution reduction efforts. Learn more
Since 1928, the President of the United States has proclaimed the first Monday in October as National Child Health Day as requested by a joint resolution of Congress. In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics established October as Child Health Month in order to focus national attention on children’s health issues.
Our mission at EPA is to preserve the environment for generations to come and to protect the public health in the places where people live, work, learn and play. Ensuring that our children are not exposed to toxins and pollution or other environmental threats in their homes, in their schools, or anywhere else is central to that work.
In October and throughout the year, we will work with parents, teachers, and health providers to promote healthy environments where children live, learn and play.
To learn more about children's environmental health, visit the EPA Children's Health Protection website.
Please see the items below to help promote awareness and understanding about children’s environmental health: Tips Calendar, Student Curriculum, Healthy Schools Toolkit and Publications.
Children’s Health Month Daily Tips Calendar - This calendar provides daily tips of actions that you as parents, teachers and caregivers can take to help provide a healthy environment for children. Download calendar (PDF) (1 pg., 286K, About PDF)
EPA’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Environment Student Curriculum
This curriculum is a nine-lesson program designed to encourage kids (ages 9-13) to actively explore the environments in which they live and play. Each 45-minute lesson empowers kids to improve the environment for their community and to reduce their environmental risk.
- Easy-to-use lesson plans for ages 9-13
- Hands-on activities for both indoors and outdoors
- Downloadable posters and visual cards
- Materials for kids to take home
- Ideal for after-school programs and clubs
Healthy Schools Toolkit
The Healthy Schools Toolkit is a free web-based resource designed to help school administrators and service providers keep school buildings and facilities clean, green and healthy. It is also intended to help parents and students better understand the importance of maintaining environmentally safe and healthy schools. The virtual toolkit’s downloadable materials are suitable for a wide range of audiences, from school superintendents and building custodians to community organizations and student groups, and can be adapted for classroom curriculum.
The toolkit is available on the EPA Region 7 website.
Children’s Health Publications - can be downloaded and ordered on the Publications website.
Protecting children, our youngest and most sensitive citizens, from environmental health risks is fundamental to EPA's mission of protecting human health and the environment. It is essential that children have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, safe food to eat, and a healthy environment in which to learn, grow and thrive. Children grow best in such environments.
Children may be more vulnerable to some environmental risks than adults for several reasons:
- Compared to adults, children proportionately eat more food, drink more fluids, and breathe more air than adults. As a result, they are exposed to more pollutants per pound of body weight than adults.
- Children may be more vulnerable than adults to environmental hazards because their systems are still developing, often making them less able to process and eliminate toxins.
- Children's behavior patterns and natural curiosity can put them in harm's way, which can increase their exposure to pollutants.
- Children are least able to protect themselves.
- Children have a longer life expectancy than past generations.
- Fewer than half of the synthetic chemicals that have been developed and released to the environment have been tested for potential human toxicity, and fewer still for their potential effects on children.
- Children represent 25 percent of our population, but 100 percent of our future.
Major Environmental ConcernsThese are the most common concerns for children in Region 7:
- Air quality and air pollutants
- Environmental Justice
- Healthy Homes
- Healthy Schools
- Lead poisoning prevention
Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
The Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (MAPEHSU)is the pediatric environmental health specialty unit (PEHSU) for the Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The goal of the PEHSU Program is to increase the knowledge base of pediatric environmental medicine for health professionals by providing a forum for collaboration of environmental specialists and pediatricians.
TThe PEHSU is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and EPA Region 7. Funds are administered through the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC).
The MAPEHSU is dedicated to providing expert clinical, consultative, and educational services to improve the recognition and treatment of children's environmental health problems in the Region 7 states.
MAPEHSU services include:
Consultation - Medical consultation or advice from a physician or health care provider with expertise in pediatric environmental health
Referrals - Referrals to health agencies with an interest in pediatric environmental health
Education and Outreach - Pediatric environmental health-focused education and outreach to the medical community
For general inquiries, call the MAPEHSU toll-free at 1-800-421-9916.
EPA Region 7 ContactLaTonya Sanders
Children's Health Coordinator