Time is harder to keep track of these days, and we continue to face compounding crises assaulting our health, environment, democracy, and economy. But, just around the corner is that glimmer of hope we continue to look for. October starts this week, and marks the beginning of one of our favorite monthly themes: children’s health.
October is Children’s Health Month, an opportunity to learn about the disproportionate impacts climate change has on children and the actions we can take now to ensure a more prosperous and equitable future. Resources from Climate for Health and ecoAmerica include:
Motherhood in a Changing Climate: Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes Let’s Talk Climate Episode
“Our Children, Our Future” partnership video with the American Academy of Pediatrics
Caring for Our Climate and Our Children Talking Points
We look forward to celebrating Children’s Environmental Health Day (CEH Day) with the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) on Thursday, October 8, 2020 is. CEH Day is a platform for ALL of us advocating for clean air and water, safer food and products, and healthier places for children to live, learn, and play. It is a way to increase visibility, make some noise, educate decision makers, and create some real change for children’s health. There are lots of ways to get involved, no matter who you are. You can request proclamations from your mayor/governor declaring CEH a priority for your community. You can join the annual #CEHchat on Twitter (this year focuses on children’s health and climate change). Or you could attend or host an event like a stream cleanup, educational panel, letter writing campaign, or virtual watch party. Because of COVID-19, many of this year’s CEH Day activities are going virtual. CEHN is working with advocates, scientists, grassroots organizers, and entertainers to put on a CEH Day Livestream. Tune in 8:30 am to 7:30 pm ET for educational panels, inspiring leaders,CEH Community produced segments focusing on pertinent public health issues, fun children’s read- and sing-alongs, a sustainable children’s fashion show, and the 15th Annual Child Health Advocate Awards.
This year, our Children’s Health Month celebrations culminate in the National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum with the American Academy of Pediatrics. You can tune in to the Let’s Talk Climate episode we are hosting as part of the Forum, Vote Kids: Climate Change and the 2020 Election. Look out for our blog series from pediatricians throughout the month!
We are also putting a particular focus on supporting youth leadership this year. When asked about the school strikes for climate, a high majority, four in five adult Americans (79%), say they understand why the youth are striking. Youth leadership has always been critical for movement building and social change. And, as Katie Eder, Executive Director of Future Coalition, told us at this year’s American Climate Leadership Summit, “To be a strong adult ally, the best thing one can do is to show up and say ‘How can I help?’…Not telling, but really asking.” You can watch the entire session, “Driving Change: Youth” on ecoAmerica’s YouTube channel.
In the recently released Health Professionals for Climate Action video series, pediatrician Dr. Aparna Bole tells us that “…it’s so important to support leaders who are committed to protecting our public health through climate action and climate solutions.” You can see her full story here: bit.ly/32YcSym and CEHN provides more motivation in their piece, “Put Children’s Environmental Health at the Center This Election Season.” With the election ending in only a few weeks, the best thing we can do for our kids is vote for candidates up and down the ballot that prioritize climate action and our health. ecoAmerica provides an extensive Voter Registration, Voting, and Get out the Vote Guide. As Dr. Linda Rudolph reminds us in “A Vote for Health is a Vote for Climate,” “The most important thing we can do in this point and time is vote for leaders that care about our health and care about climate…this is the most important election in the history of the world in terms of where we’re going on climate change…”