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Protecting Children’s Environmental Health in a Changing Climate: A Model Collaboration of the Maternal and Child Health Section and the Environment Section of APHA

  • Trousdale, Kristie
  • McCurdy, Leyla E
  • Witherspoon, Nsedu Obot
  • Alkon, Abbey
Publication Date
Jul 19, 2023
eScholarship - University of California
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PurposeThe complexities of modern civilization, coupled with challenges including systemic racism and climate change-related impacts, compel public health professionals to break down silos and collaborate towards the shared goals of protecting the wellbeing of current and future generations. This article highlights the growing collaboration between the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and the Environment (ENV) Sections of the American Public Health Association (APHA) as members bring their collective focus to the protection of children's and pregnant people's environmental health.DescriptionThe MCH Section and the Children's Environmental Health (CEH) Committee of the ENV Section are collaborating on efforts to: inform key stakeholders?including public health and health care professionals, child care professionals, families, and youth?about environmental hazards and climate change impacts to children's and pregnant people's health and wellbeing; and provide tools and guidance about how to best protect these groups and how to advocate for climate action. The CEH Committee embraces a health equity paradigm and intentionally centers environmental, racial, and social justice as integral to effective children's health and climate change initiatives.AssessmentProjects to date include multiple joint sessions about children's environmental health and climate change at APHA's annual meetings, publications and various children's environmental health tools and resources, including a toolkit and lesson plan that equips public health professionals to provide guest lectures at their local high schools on climate change and health, and educational materials for caregivers on extreme heat, wildfires, and ticks and mosquitos.ConclusionThis collaboration could serve as a replicable model that can be applied to other interdisciplinary efforts seeking strategic partnerships to address complex health issues.

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