Children's health is affected by the built environment, which is any infrastructure that people come in contact with on a daily basis. Homes, schools, parks, roads, walkways, and businesses can cause injury, illness, and disability. Well-designed environments are important to ensure the best kind of child development.Poor environmental design can cause asthma, pedestrian injuries, obesity, and exposures to toxins. The built environment has a greater impact on minorities and low-income populations as they are disproportionately exposed to lead, air pollutants, and other contaminates. Access to primary and preventive healthcare is important for healthy children.
The following links contain resources concerning pediatric health and the built environment:
- Designing Healthy Communities: Raising Healthy Kids, APHA
This toolkit is designed to assess the current status of the built environment, determine its impact on pediatric health, and identify areas to be improved. It includes a Pop Quiz: A Tool for Assessing Your Community's Built Environment, Tips for Planning a Town Hall Meeting, Sample Letters, Scripts, and News Releases, Fact Sheets and Customizable Fact Sheets.
- The Built Environment and Children's Health, CDC
This report links known and newly emerging diseases to risk factors from the built environment, including injuries, lead poisoning, asthma, and obesity. It documents research needs and healthy communities in the future.
- Children's Environments and Health- Related Quality of Life: Evidence Informing Pediatric Healthcare Environmental Design, Children, Youth and Environments
This study reviewed literature on the effects of the environment on heath in children in healthcare settings, examined literature on children’s environments to inform the future design and study of child healthcare settings, and proposed a conceptual model for guidance of a research agenda.
- Clean School Bus USAaims to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the air pollution created by diesel school buses.
- Safe Routes to Schoolsdesigned to decrease traffic and pollution and increase the health of children and the community by promoting walking and biking to school and addressing the safety concerns of parents.
- Can't Get There From Herediscusses the declining independent mobility of California's children and youth.
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