October is Children’s Health Month and the EPA is doing it’s part to get the word out on the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. One of the places where children are at highest risk is right in their homes. Here are some recommendations from the EPA on how to reduce those risks.
- Discover how climate change may affect the health of children, and how reducing energy helps the climate and reduces air pollution.
- Have a health care provider or local health department test children’s blood lead levels.
- Wash floors and window sills to remove dust and peeling lead-based paint, especially in older homes where lead based paint is more likely to be found. Repair peeling or chipping paint in older homes.
- Reduce asthma attacks by controlling triggers such as pet dander, mold and second-hand smoke.
- Don’t expose children to cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke at home or in a car.
- Check the local public water supplier for annual drinking water quality reports. Have private water wells tested annually by a certified laboratory.
- Store pesticides and other chemicals in a locked cabinet. Never put them in other containers that can be mistaken for food or drink.
- Homes should be tested for radon, as it is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
- Replace mercury thermometers with digital or mercury-free thermometers.
No one knows exactly how many homes still contain the hazardous mercury thermometers. Just this week, a store in Kansas had to be closed because the mercury in a blood pressure cuff broke, spilling the mercury throughout the store.