US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Protecting Children’s Health in a Changing Climate: EPA Region 7 Observes Children’s Health Month throughout October

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Lenexa, Kan. -- Climate change poses serious threats to the health of America’s children. Children eat, drink, and breathe more per body weight than adults, and their body systems are still developing. In addition, they often spend more time outdoors. For these reasons, children disproportionately suffer from the effects of heat waves, air pollution, infectious illness, and trauma resulting from extreme weather events. These impacts can include both short-term and long-term effects.

EPA is devoting Children’s Health Month to the issues of climate change and children’s health. We believe that a public health response to these issues, combined with raising awareness in the general population about the threats and how to prepare for and respond to them, is the best way forward.

EPA’s mission 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 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.

EPA Region 7 encourages parents, teachers and health providers to work together to protect children in a changing climate by promoting healthy environments for children.

EPA’s Climate Change and Children’s Health brochure describes the effects that climate change has on children's health, differentiated from its effects on adults. It also provides several things you can do to prevent climate change. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Climate Change and Children’s Health fact sheet also provides information on the impacts of climate change on children’s health.

EPA offers a variety of free online resources to promote awareness and understanding of children’s environmental health. EPA’s Student Curriculum: Recipes for Healthy Kids and a Healthy Environment 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 risks. The curriculum, which features a lesson on climate change, is ideal for after-school programs and clubs:

    • Easy-to-use lesson plans for ages 9-13
    • Hands-on activities for indoors and outdoors
    • Downloadable posters and cards
    • Materials for kids to take home

EPA also offers more than two dozen free Children’s Health Publications that can be downloaded for general information and to promote awareness of children’s health issues.

To learn more about children's environmental health, visit EPA’s Office of Children's Health Protection online.

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