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Children's Environmental Health

boy smiling with blue sky and one cloud in backgroundChildren are particularly vulnerable to environmental health hazards.

For their size, they breathe more air and eat more food than adults. Even low levels of environmental health pollutants, like lead, particulate matter or pesticides, can affect children’s physical and mental development and negatively impact their health for the remainder of their life.

BIPOC children and children of low-wealth communities are disproportionately affected.

Historic and current-day policies and practices, such as structural and systemic racism and disinvestment, have led to and continue health inequities and environmental injustices.

Featured Resource

Front page of report titled Protecting the Health of Children, images of family holding hands, smiling childrenProtecting the Health of Children: A National Snapshot of Environmental Health Services (PDF)

This report provides a snapshot on the availability and accessibility of children’s environmental health services. A national scan of department of health and department of environmental quality websites was conducted for 48 states to gain insight on the information available to the public about environmental health services for children.

To learn if the public was aware of and used the information available on state websites, APHA hosted forums and engaged with community members in Flint, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. Key challenges identified during the forum discussions included excessive formalities and the lack of coordination among different agencies providing services.

The report recommended intentionally engaging with community members from the start to identify resources, needs and their environmental health priorities to determine and offer needed services.

Additional Resources

Protecting Children's Environmental Health: A Comprehensive Framework

Elevating mental health disparities and building psychosocial resilience among BIPOC children and youth to broaden the climate and health discourse

Climate and Health Youth Education Toolkit