NYLON – Clean and Healthy New York, along with Children’s Environmental Health Network and Child Care Council, Inc., celebrated completion of a two year project to train child care providers to improve facilities, educating them on how to remove toxic chemicals and to choose more environmentally friendly products.
The Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Child Care program had a large impact, training 437 child care providers from over 250 facilities, providing technical assistance to 49 facilities, and training 44 trainers from 15 Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies who will continue to spread the message.
“As a result of the leadership, commitment, and desire to support healthier child care facilities, Clean and Healthy New York and Child Care Council, Inc. are working to make long-standing change for children and their families,” stated Nsedu Witherspoon, MPH, Executive Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network. “We are thrilled to see all that has been accomplished in the last two years and look forward to continued advancement in these important child health protection efforts.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), every day over 300 children in the United States ages 1 to 19 are treated in an emergency department, and two children die, as a result of being poisoned. Everyday times in the move can be poisonous to children, such as household cleansers. The CDC suggests locking up medicines and toxic products and keeping them in their original packaging as well as safely disposing of unused, unneeded, or expired medications. Finally, always know the national number for poison control, 1 (800) 222-1222.
The Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Child Care program developed New York-specific materials based on the Children’s Environmental Health Network’s award-winning Eco-Healthy Child Care program. Thus far, 17 providers have become officially endorsed and 78% of providers went on to make one or more improvements in their facility. Clean and Healthy New York reported that over the course of the program they have documented 417 kg in total chemical reductions, which will result in over a metric ton of chemicals avoided over 5 years. In addition, Providers have recycled over 3,300 kg of electronic waste, which contain heavy metals, flame retardants, and other chemicals of concern.
Photo Credit: Mr. Yuk, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh