A Children's Environmental Health Movement
Despite a better understanding about the connection between environment and health and the unique vulnerabilities of children to these impacts, the health of children today is no better than it was a decade or more ago. Further, children from families with low incomes, and children of color, experience multiple health stressors and exposures, and as a result face an increased risk for poor health outcomes.
The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), with children’s environmental health advocates, partners, and leaders, developed a new proactive vision and framework for children’s environmental health for the 21st century, A Blueprint for Protecting Children’s Environmental Health: An Urgent Call to Action. The Blueprint emphasizes urgent action to make children's health a priority for our nation. It outlines the steps that are necessary for progress towards protecting children's environmental health, and for developing a solid foundation to support future commitments moving forward.
A key priority action item from the Blueprint is the development of a children's environmental health (CEH) movement to put these critical issues in the forefront of the national consciousness and decision-making, with a particular focus on action and equity.
CEHN is spearheading the creation of the CEH Movement: #ChildrenAtTheCenter. Two core efforts comprise the movement: Children’s Environmental Health Day (observed the 2nd Thursday in October) and an education-to-action series developed around monthly themes of the most pressing CEH issues.
- Increase awareness and understanding of children’s environmental health among key audiences
- Mobilize action on children’s environmental health issues
- Establish/expand the community and network of partners working on children’s environmental health issues
In January 2018 CEHN will release a new report on children's environmental health indicators. This report will contribute to the understanding of the current state of children's environmental health, and the importance of clear and comprehensive environmental and health outcome indicators to measure progress in addressing the issues. This will lay the foundation for our series of CEH monthly themes, to begin in February.