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October is Children’s Health Month - The U.S. EPA Tips For Raising Healthy Kids

Release Date: 9/24/2004
Contact Information: Liz Ferry, (215) 814-2909

Liz Ferry, (215) 814-2909

October is Children’s Health Month. At the Environmental Protection Agency, we want to help protect kids from environmental risks. As individuals, there are steps we can take to ensure we are doing everything possible to help our children grow up in a clean and healthy environment. Here are some suggestions:

• Don’t smoke and don’t let others smoke in your home or car.

• Keep your home as clean as possible. Dust, mold, certain household pests, secondhand smoke, and pet dander can trigger asthma attacks and allergies.

• Limit outdoor activity on ozone alert days when air pollution is especially harmful.

• Walk, use bicycles, join or form carpools, and take public transportation, all of which helps reduce air pollution.

• Limit motor vehicle idling.

• Protect children from lead poisoning. Get kids tested for lead by their doctor or health care provider.

• Test your home for lead paint hazards if it was built before 1978.

• Have children wash their hands before they eat; wash bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.

• Wash floors and window sills to protect kids from dust and peeling paint contaminated with lead especially in older homes.

• Run the cold water for at least 30 seconds to flush lead from pipes. Follow any local advisories that are issued.

• Keep pesticides and other toxic chemicals away from children.

• Store food and trash in closed containers to keep pests from coming into your home.

• Read product labels and follow directions.

• Store pesticides and toxic chemicals where kids can’t reach them and never put them in other containers that kids can mistake for food or drink.

• Keep children, toys, and pets away when pesticides are applied; don’t let them play in fields, orchards, and gardens after pesticides have been used for at least the time recommended on the pesticide label.

• Wash fruits and vegetables under running water before eating and peel them before eating, when possible.

• Replace mercury thermometers with digital thermometers. Don’t let kids handle or play with mercury. Contact your state or local health or environment department if mercury is spilled and never vacuum a spill.