Improvings Kids' Environments in Indiana
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We're Making Our Children's Environments

Better to Grow Up In

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Improving Kids’ Community

Our Initiative

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."Healthy communities for kids are on the verge of being engineered out of existence," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "We created these harmful built environments and we're equally empowered to change them." IKE has worked in a variety of ways to reduce environmental threats in Indiana communities.

How are we improving our communities?

Clean Water

The source of life on our planet, water needs our protection. Pollutants emitted into the air and onto the land often end up in our waters, where they accumulate in sediments, plants and fish. Water is recycled in a never-ending cycle from the atmosphere, to precipitation, to our waterways, and back into the atmosphere again. Along the way, a drop of water may find its way to our faucet, into our bodies, down our drains, through our wastewater treatment systems, and back into our waterways.


Mercury

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can harm the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. It is especially dangerous to unborn babies and young children, whose brains and nervous system are still developing.


Sewage in Our Streams

Many Indiana streams contain raw sewage from overflowing sewer systems, leaking septic systems or manure from animals. The bacteria count in these contaminated streams is often more than 100 times the national clean water standard. Sewage contamination of streams can introduce disease-causing pathogens into the water and threaten kids' health.


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Pesticides

Pesticides pose hazards, especially to children who may be sensitive to them. IKE's goal is to reduce both pests and pesticide exposures, and to ensure that parents who are concerned about pesticide use in schools are notified so they can take appropriate action.


Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.


Sunny Start Reports

Helpful Resources

IKE Resources


How to Protect Kids from Environmental Risks: This fact sheet provides advice for parents on protecting children from common environmental health threats.


Environmental Threats to Success in School: This fact sheet explains how environmental exposures can contribute to lead poisoning, asthma, attention deficit disorder and other health problems that can affect performance in school.


Pesticide Health Effects: This fact sheet summarizes scientific research into the effects of pesticides on children's health.


Green Cleaning Recipes: This handout provides recipes for making safer cleaning products at home, using vinegar, baking soda and other less toxic ingredients.

CDC (Center for Disease Control) Resources

A Healthy Home for Everyone: The Guide for Families and Individuals [PDF - 6.08 MB] (2010)
The purpose of this booklet is to provide information about the connection between housing and health. You will find action steps for making your home healthy, definitions for words used in the booklet, and a resource section to find more information about a making your home a healthy home.


Guidelines for the Identification and Management of Lead Exposure in Pregnant and Lactating Women [PDF - 4.24 MB] (2010)
These guidelines are based on scientific data and practical considerations regarding preventing lead exposure during pregnancy, assessment and blood lead testing during pregnancy, medical and environmental management to reduce fetal exposure, breastfeeding, and follow up of infants and children exposed to lead
in utero.

Recommendations for Blood Lead Screening of Medicaid-Eligible Children Aged 1--5 Years: an Updated Approach to Targeting a Group at High Risk. MMWR. August 7, 2009; 58(RR09);1-11.

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Resources

Other Resources


Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health:
The Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health was established in 1999 in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to promote and protect children's health through prevention, education, diagnosis and treatment of environmentally related diseases. It is headquartered at the University of Illinois-Chicago, with a satellite office at the University of Cincinnati. http://www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/childrenshealth/index.htm

From the National Center of Excellence in Women's Health from UC-San Francisco
-- Toxic Matters: Five ways to avoid exposure to toxic substances: in the home, at work, in the community, at the market and through influencing government policy. http://www.prhe.ucsf.edu/prhe/toxicmatters.html

From the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: Environmental Impacts on Reproductive Health (Clinical Proceedings). A training resource for healthcare professionals. http://www.arhp.org/publications-and-resources/clinical-proceedings/RHE

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:
This site provides information about the Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT) Training Module for healthcare providers and how to register for free continuing education credits. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/emes/health_professionals/pediatrics.html