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Help Protect Children from Environmental Risks: EPA Provides Tips during Children’s Health Month

Release Date: 10/01/2009
Contact Information: Enesta Jones,, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355; En español: Lina Younes,, 202-564-9924, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - October is Children’s Health Month. To heighten awareness about environmental issues impacting children, EPA is providing parents and caregivers simple tips they can use to help protect children in their homes, schools and communities.

“As both EPA Administrator and a mother, I understand the importance of protecting our children from environmental threats,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Throughout Children’s Health Month, we will work to help parents and caretakers ensure the safety of our children and build a safer, cleaner, more sustainable world for their future.”

Children eat, drink and breathe more per pound than adults. When food, water or air is polluted, children are more affected by that pollution when compared to adults. These concerns about children’s health are a driving force behind many of EPA’s programs, policies and regulatory activities.

There are simple steps that parents and other caregivers can take to protect children from environmental health hazards in their surrounding daily environment.

Here are some simple steps that can be taken to help keep children safe and healthy:

  • Discover how climate change may affect the health of children, and how reducing energy helps the climate and reduces air pollution.
  • Have a health care provider or local health department test children’s blood lead levels.
  • Wash floors and window sills to remove dust and peeling lead-based paint, especially in older homes, where lead based paint is more likely to be found. Repair peeling or chipping paint in older homes.
  • Reduce asthma attacks by controlling triggers such as pet dander, mold and second-hand smoke.
  • Don’t expose children to cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke at home or in a car.
  • Check the local public water supplier for annual drinking water quality reports. Have private water wells tested annually by a certified laboratory.
  • Store pesticides and other chemicals in a locked cabinet. Never put them in other containers that can be mistaken for food or drink.
  • Replace mercury thermometers with digital or mercury-free thermometers.
  • Homes should be tested for radon, as it is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

More tips: