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October 12, 2017 – CEH Day: A Day to Stand Up for Children’s Environmental Health

By Tim Kelly
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October is Children's Environmental Health Month and October 12th is Children's Environmental Health Day, a day set aside to spread awareness of and promote action on preventing harmful environmental health exposures among children.  In preparation for Children's Environmental Health Day, this week Climate for Health features a blog by Kristie Trousdale of Children's Environmental Health Network.  Read on as Kristie discusses environmental health impacts among children and actions we all can take this month and beyond to promote and protect children's health.

Now more than ever, the need to protect the health of the most vulnerable among us is paramount. Children are our most valuable resources, they represent the very future of our nation, and yet over the past few decades they have been facing increasing rates of chronic illness and developmental concerns linked to environmental exposures and our changing climate, including:

  • Over 6 million schoolchildren in the U.S. receive special education services
  • Those with an ADHD diagnosis (affecting 1 in 8 children) jumped by 43% between 2003 and 2011
  • CDC’s 2014 estimate of 1 in 68 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder was a 30% increase over the 2012 estimate
  • Asthma rates rose by almost 50% for black children between 2001 and 2009
  • One in five school-aged children has obesity
  • Incidence of childhood cancers has been increasing slightly over the past few decades

Decidedly few health and developmental problems are attributed solely to genetics, and mounting research underscores the importance of clean air, clean water, safe food and products, a healthy climate, and healthy places for a child’s best start in life. Yet the nation’s current legal, policy, and physical infrastructures are woefully inadequate to safeguard children’s environmental health, and the need for robust and united advocacy for preventive actions, is profound.

As a means to create and anchor a children’s environmental health movement and to develop a strong network of advocates, the Children’s Environmental Health Network established an annual Children’s Environmental Health Day (CEH Day), to be celebrated every second Thursday of October during Children’s Health Month. This year’s CEH Day is October 12, 2017.

CEH Day is a day of awareness, and a day of action. Anyone can show their commitment to protecting and improving children’s environmental health by:

We’ve provided the tools to make it easy to take action. Working together, we can safeguard the health of our children and that of future generations. How will you stand up for children’s environmental health?

The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) is a national, multidisciplinary, nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the developing child from environmental health hazards and promoting a healthier environment. CEHN works to achieve this mission by stimulating and supporting preventive science, advocating for sound, child-protective policy, providing education and training to a variety of audiences, and raising awareness of children’s environmental health issues. 

For more information on the Children's Environmental Health Network and Children's Environmental Health Day, visit http://cehn.org.