Have you ever heard that indoor air is often way more polluted than the outdoor air, and wondered whether that was actually true? It is, because in enclosed spaces the chemicals used in certain paints, varnishes, cleaners—and other pollutants including dirt, dust, dander—keep recirculating. So imagine what children in child care settings may be exposed to when they’re crawling around, sitting “criss-cross applesauce,” or breathing in the chemicals routinely used to clean-up after snack time.
During the first five years of a child’s life, adults pretty much decide where children spend time, and may unwittingly expose kids to toxic chemicals. Young children are especially sensitive to environmental hazards because their bodies (brain, immune system, organs, etc.) are still developing. Exposure to certain toxicants or chemicals can put children at risk for poor health and developmental problems immediately and over the long term. Data shows that by eliminating most exposures, we can stop— and in some cases reverse—some of the negative health effects.
It’s part of our jobs as early care and education professionals committed to the health and safety of the children in our care to educate ourselves about how to identify potential hazards and avoid exposing children to them. CEHN’S Eco-Healthy Child Care® (EHCC) program has designed an e-learning course with these concerns in mind. EHCC is a national program that partners with child care professionals to eliminate or reduce environmental health hazards found within or around early learning environments.
The course is ideal for child care providers (home and center-based), school administrators, nurses, child care licensing professionals, and anyone else interested in protecting children from environmental hazards. It takes approximately 3 hours to complete and discusses how children are exposed to chemicals in their everyday environments, and why these exposures are concerning. By the time you complete the course, you’ll be equipped with best practices for implementing easy and realistic changes to improve the environmental health of your setting. The Eco-Healthy Child Care® – Protecting Children’s Environmental Health course is available through ProSolutions Training. It costs 30 dollars, and participants are eligible for International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) CEUs at no additional cost.
After taking this course, you’ll have realistic, cost-effective strategies for protecting the environmental health of children.