Improvings Kids' Environments in Indiana
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Improving Kids’ Environment

US child-health study rises from ashes of high-profile failure

The government’s cancelled National Children’s Study has a successor that may sidestep earlier challenges.

Frederica Perera has stocked a dozen freezers with an unusual biological bounty over the past two decades. Inside are vials of umbilical-cord blood, urine and placentas from more than 700 pregnant women and their children from the Washington Heights, Harlem and South Bronx neighbourhoods of New York City. This biobank has proved invaluable in her efforts to understand how urban environments influence children’s health from birth through childhood.

Now, Perera’s team is gearing up for another challenge: developing a tool that can test her bank of umbilical-cord blood samples for common pollutants and use the results to predict later impacts on neurodevelopment and obesity. The scientists are also joining a major US government programme that seeks to understand how environmental, behavioural and social factors affect children’s health.

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Healthy Homes

For children, their home is where they feel safe. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The home can have hidden hazards that threaten a child’s health. One of our key visions is to have every child live in a environmentally safe home. Was your home built before 1978? If yes, you need to learn about lead before you repair or renovate. Click the button below to learn more about health hazards in your home.

Healthy Schools

Children are more susceptible to environmental threats than adults. With equal exposure, children's bodies become more heavily concentrated than that of adults due to higher respiratory rates and smaller body sizes. And where do young, developing people spend a large portion of their school-age years? That's right: at childcare and school. That is why Improving Kids' Environment works to make school and childcare facilities as healthy as possible.

Healthy Communities

Our health often depends on living and working in a healthy community. A healthy community has clean air, clean water and clean soil. Children can live and play there without fear of exposure to toxic chemicals. Across the country, children are facing serious medical problems as a result of living in unhealthy built environments because poorly designed neighborhoods and buildings, roads, and sidewalks that do not foster health, according to the American Public Health Association (APHA).