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Children's Health Protection

Children’s Health Month 2009: Healthy Living; Healthy Learning; Healthy Environments

Day-by-Day Environmental Protection

October 1
Climate and Health Basics
Learn how climate change may affect the health of children, and how reducing energy helps the climate, air pollution, and the health of children.

October 2
Reduce Indoor Asthma Triggers
Keep homes, schools, and child care centers clean. Control common asthma triggers such as cockroaches, pet dander, dust mites, mold, and secondhand smoke. Call 1-866-NO-ATTACKS.

October 3
Protect Children from Lead
Have your child tested for lead by their health care provider or your local health department. The greatest exposure to lead is swallowing or breathing in lead paint chips and dust. Lead also can be found in some household plumbing and water service lines.

October 4
Keep Planet Earth Livable
Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your home helps conserve energy and reduces pollution.

October 5
Keep Our Air Breathable
Encourage fitness, reduce traffic and reduce air pollution – all at the same time.  Instead of driving, walk, bike, and use public transportation when possible.

October 6
What Children Need to Know about Climate and Health
Find out about the campaign to empower those in middle and high school to learn about and take action on climate change. 

October 7
International Walk to School DayExit Disclaimer
Join the movement! Last year, communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 40 countries participated.

October 8
Reduce Mercury in Your Home and in Landfills
Safely dispose of products, such as thermostats, fluorescent lamps, and button batteries that may contain mercury. Contact your state health or environment department to learn the details.

October 9
Reduce Your Use of Plastic Bags and Bottles
Take reusable bags to the grocery store and other shopping places. Carry a reusable bottle for water.

October 10
Promote Food Safety
Wash fruits and vegetables under running water and peel them whenever possible to reduce dirt, bacteria, and pesticides.

October 11
No pests and fewer pesticides
Store food and trash in closed containers. Use baits and traps when you can and place them where kids can't get them. If pesticides are used, read and follow the label.

October 12
Is There Lead in Your Drinking Water?
If you want to know if your home’s drinking water contains unsafe levels of lead, have your water tested. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent. For more information on testing your water, call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

October 13
Grow Your Own Food
Even a small garden is good for children, good for everybody. Planting a backyard garden with your kids is a good way to connect with nature – and a great way to have a ready supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.

October 14
Calcula te Your Carbon Footprint
One good step to reducing energy is being aware of how much you use. 

October 15
Use Water Efficiently
Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, and teach children to do the same.

October 16
Watch Out for Lyme disease
Lyme disease is spread by ticks. Children are especially vulnerable to tick bites because they tend to play outside and close to the ground. Children from five to ten years old get Lyme disease more often than older children and adults.

October 17
Test Your Home for Radon
Test your home for radon, and get expert help if the radon level is 4pCi/L or higher. Call your state radon office or 1-800-SOS-RADON.

October 18
One Way to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Install a CO alarm that meets UL, IAS, or Canadian standards in all sleeping rooms.

October 19
Ozone:  Good Up High, Bad Nearby
Check the air quality forecast in your area. At times when the ozone is forecast to be unhealthy, limit physical exertion outdoors. In many places, ozone peaks in mid-afternoon to early evening.

October 20
Prevent Asthma Attacks
Learn what triggers your child's asthma. Work with a health professional to develop an asthma management plan. Call 1-866-NO-ATTACKS.

October 21
Get Kids Outdoors
Play in the park, walk in the forest, and teach them about our natural world.

October 22
Protect Children from Secondhand Smoke
Don't smoke or let others smoke in your home or car. Take the Smoke-Free Home Pledge by calling 1-866-SMOKE-FREE.

October 23
Spread the Word
Tell family and friends that energy efficiency is good for the environment and good for children’s health because it lowers greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

October 24
More Ways to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning  
Check that fuel-burning appliances, furnace flues, and chimneys are working correctly. Never use gas ovens or burners for heat. Never use charcoal grills indoors. Never run generators or mowers indoors.  Never sleep in rooms with unvented gas or kerosene heaters.

October 25
Reduce Exposure to Chemical Residues
Always wash children’s hands before they eat or nap.  Wash their stuffed animals and toys often. Regularly clean floors, window ledges, and other surfaces to reduce possible exposure to lead and pesticide residues.

October 26
Reduce Risks from Lead in Drinking Water
Run cold water until it becomes as cold as it can get. Use only cold water for drinking, cooking, and making baby formula.

October 27
Heat and Cool Wisely  
Simple steps like cleaning air filters regularly and having your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

October 28
Learn about the sources of chemicals in schools
Chemicals are used throughout any school system.  Find out how your child’s school uses and stores chemicals.

October 29
Reduce Exposure to Air Pollution
Find out when outdoor air pollution is high in your area from newspapers, TV or radio stations. Limit outside activities when the Air Quality Index rises to unhealthy levels.

October 30
Reduce Their Exposure to Diesel Exhaust
Urge schools to stop unnecessary bus idling, retrofit bus engines to reduce diesel exhaust, and replace the oldest buses in the fleet.

October 31
Protect Children from Mold
Fix moisture problems and thoroughly dry wet areas such as carpets, walls, and ceiling tiles within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. Fix leaky plumbing and other water problems in your home.

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