October 19, 2012

HUD Celebrates Children’s Health Month

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October is a time for fallen leaves, cool weather, apple cider, and trick or treating, but did you know that October is also Children’s Health Month? 

It all started in 1928 when the President of the United States proclaimed the first Monday in October as National Child Health Day.  In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics observed the entire month of October Child Health Month to highlight children’s health issues.

You may be thinking, “I take good care of my family. I provide healthy foods. I take my children to the doctor for regular checkups and try my best to protect my family.” But, do you know that your home might have hidden health dangers especially for children?

Good health starts at home.

Most of us will spend close to 90% of our days indoors. Children are particularly sensitive to their home indoor environment. Their bodies and behaviors are different than adults, so they interact differently with the environment. This is why a healthy home indoor environment is especially important.

The good news is that there are many ways to reduce or prevent exposures that may harm your children’s health. Protecting the health of children from home indoor dangers is a top priority for HUD’s Office of Healthy Homes Lead Hazard Control (OHHLHC).

OHHLHC provides tips for addressing potentially harmful exposures from allergens, mold, lead-base paint poisoning, asthma triggers, second-hand smoke, radon, pesticides and other hazards. OHHLHC and its partners provide information, publications, and other resources via the internet so that parents and caregivers can address these environmental issues.

There are simple steps that parents and caregivers can take today.

The fact sheet “Seven Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home” shows simple ways to help make your home a healthier place for you and your family. By following the 7 tips, you can make your home a healthy place to live.

You can also download a Children’s Health Month Calendar designed by the Environmental Protection Agency. It has an action step for each day of October, with topics ranging from lead poisoning to school health.

To learn more about environmental hazards and OHHLHC’s Program visit: hud.gov/healthyhomes

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