Reduce the Risk: Environmental Health Threats to Your Children

Environmental Health Threats With October being National Children’s Health Month, focus on how to protect the next generation of adults from environmental dangers is at the top of our list. The simple truth is that children often are more susceptible to pollutants and environmental threats when compared to adults. Discover common environmental health threats to your kids, and the methods you can employ to reduce the risk. Protect from Pesticides Pesticides, chemicals used to kill pests, contain some pretty scary ingredients. The threat for children is that they often get a higher exposure than adults. They are closer to the ground, drink and eat more relative to their body weight, and tend to touch things without washing their hands. Babies are at a special risk since they have immature liver and kidneys that cannot remove pesticides as efficiently as adults. To reduce the risk, switch to baits and traps, away from where children can get to them, and eliminate food and trash that will attract pests. Keeps children and their toys away from any application of pesticides, and do not let children play in the area that pesticides were applied until at least the amount of time recommended on the pesticide label. When serving produce, be sure to wash the fruits and vegetables under running water, use a vegetable wash, and if possible, peel before serving. Too Much Sun is Not Fun Most of us have felt the effects of too much sun. Even though we need sun to get vitamin D, essential to help our bodies absorb calcium, too much sun raises the risk of premature aging and skin cancer. The scary truth is that children get the majority of their lifetime sun exposure before the age of 18, so knowing what precautions to take can help reduce the risk of cancer. Make sure children wear hats, sunglasses, and other protective clothing when out in the sun. Reduce the amount of time spent in mid-day sun, since that is when the sun’s rays are the most intense. That time is usually between 10am – 4pm. For sunscreen, apply at least SPF 15 to children over 6 months, and reapply often. Application will be needed more often than the directions specify if there is a vigorous activity or swimming. Keep infants out of direct sunlight. Keep the Air Clear Air pollution can affect our immune system and the efficiency that the body absorbs oxygen. Children, the elderly, and ones with asthma are most at risk from breathing in polluted air. Keeping the air clean for our children ensures they can continue breathing easy. Make sure that the air is clean and clear for your children by eliminating second hand smoke. Do not smoke, or let others smoke, in the house or the car. Keep the house clean to reduce the levels of dust and mold. Consider checking the air quality before going outside and limit outdoor activity when pollution is heightened, such as during rush hour traffic. Keeping Children Healthy Children are our future. Keeping them healthy and ensuring proper precautions are taken can have a huge impact on their health later in life. believes that everyone should be knowledgeable when it comes to the environment, whether at home or at work. To help with this, we offer an Environmental Specialist Certification where you can learn the best way to be a good steward of the environment, and an Safety and Compliance Subscription, to always be up to date with the most relevant compliance training.    

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