Children interact with our environment much differently than adults do. As their bodies rapidly grow and develop, they breathe in more air and take in more food and liquids in proportion to their body weight than adults. They also have more physical contact with their environment as they touch and explore things around them with their hands and mouths.
Understanding the potential health hazards in our environment — such as lead in paint, contaminants in water, chemicals in children’s products, and pollutants in indoor air — is the first step to ensuring a healthy environment for children. Parents, expecting parents, caregivers and child care providers can learn about potential environmental hazards to children and best practices for keeping kids safe from them.