Pediatric Environmental Health
Children born in this decade are less healthy than their parents. There are many reasons for this decline in the overall social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children. One reason is the exposure of children to harmful toxins in their environments. The interaction of environmental toxins, genetics, social determinants such as poverty, and other factors result in the declines in the overall wellbeing of children today. One cannot isolate single causes. The problems – and solutions – are comprehensive and interactive.
Many individuals are working to address the problems that impact children through health care, research, education and advocacy and there are many others who are working on environmental issues that affect children. There are individuals too who are working as volunteers in child advocacy – parents and concerned individuals. But in only a few instances do these many individuals even know about each other’s work. And certainly there are few, if any, mechanisms that would bring all these individuals together to work in concert.
IA AAP supports the development of an Iowa Children’s Environmental Health Group. Such a group would bring together the many voices, diverse disciplines and institutional affiliations, and bodies of knowledge and information into a powerful voice for policy changes and a channel to reach diverse audiences with the knowledge and education about what is happening to the health of our children. The power and synergy of a unified group focusing on specific actions and steps to improve the environments affecting children and to identify children who need help and intervention because of environmental assaults is essential.
More information on the issue can be found in these resources:
- Environmental Toxins and the Neurodevelopment of Infants and Toddlers: Impacts on Iowa's Children
- 2012 Pediatric Environmental Health Conference