Keeping Children Safe on Child Health Day and Every Day

Child Health Day is October 30, and while we care about child health, nutrition, and obesity prevention every day of the year, we’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the specific issues of lead poisoning and fire safety.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is October 25-31! To celebrate, let’s learn how to keep the children in our care safe from lead exposure in toys, homes, and child care.

According to the CDC, children under the age of six are most at risk for lead poisoning. If your house or apartment was painted before 1978, your home or child care space should be tested for lead in both the paint and dust to be sure toxic levels are not present. Your health department can test it for you to be sure it’s lead-free and safe for the children in your care.

fire-189841_1920October 4-10 was Fire Prevention Week, and the National Fire Protection Association has a great checklist that children can help with as they go through their house to make sure they’re prepared in the event of a fire. Their campaign “Hear the Beep While You Sleep” reminds everyone in the family where smoke alarms should be placed around the house, and to test them every month. They even have printables, music videos, and a monthly calendar to help get children involved in fire prevention at home!

Additional resources:

Use these resources to keep your kids and family safe and healthy!

Children and Obesity Prevention – What Works

healthy_eating_kidsWe’ve seen recent numbers showing that rates of obesity are continuing to increase among some low-income children ages 2-5 – but there is hope on the horizon.

New results from the first of its kind study show that obesity measures significantly improved among children ages 2-5 who participate in Head Start Center-based nutrition and healthy living programming, such as Thriving Communities, Thriving Children (TC2), when compared to children not in the program.

This is both a welcome relief and an upcoming challenge as government funding for these critical health and nutrition programs come under fire.

Special funding partners like the Kellogg Foundation have been making great strides with these programs in states like Mississippi and Louisiana, which expand previous school-based obesity prevention efforts by focusing on several key factors at Head Start Centers:

  • Addressing foods served by Head Start Centers,
  • Food-based education
  • Daily physical activity, and
  • Health education.

Child Care Aware® of America recently received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to expand technical assistance activities in targeted states along the same lines – focusing on health, nutrition and obesity prevention as part of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).

We’re excited to launch this partnership and do the important work of educating CCR&Rs and community partners on health and early care and education.

Let's MoveIn the meantime, here are a couple of our go-to resources for health and nutrition information for kids:

Top photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, via Flickr