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The environment and girls’ health

Everything around us affects the way that girls’ bodies work and grow. This includes the sun, water, air, chemicals, and even noise. There are many things in the environment that are good for girls, like clean water and air, vitamin D that comes from the sun, and healthy foods. But there are also some hazards in the environment that can hurt our children. These include dirty air or water, too much sun, very loud noises, and chemicals.

Did you know?
Did you know that even though kids weigh less than adults, they drink more water, eat more food, and breathe more air (per pound of body weight) than adults? Because growing girls don’t weigh as much as adults, the things they take into their bodies affect them even more than these same things affect adults. (That’s why poisons can have a greater effect on kids’ and teens’ health. It is also why alcohol can poison a teen faster than it might poison a grown man or woman.)

As a parent or caregiver, you want to do all you can to keep your daughter healthy. You can start making a difference today by learning about environmental health and how it affects girls.

 

Websites

  1. Unintentional Poisoning - This is useful information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Water Safety - Learn ways to keep your family safe around water.
  3. Lead Poisoning - Learn more about the dangers of lead poisoning.
  4. Asthma Triggers - This article explains indoor and outdoor asthma triggers.
  5. Protecting Children From the Sun - This is useful information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  6. flag Envirofacts – Want to find out about environmental topics in your local area? This website allows you to search within your zip code or state to find out more about your environmental surroundings.  
  7. flag Environmental Health Topics – This website offers information on different contaminants, diseases related to environmental exposure, and more.
  8. flag Environments – Concerned about harmful substances in and outside of your home? This resource tells about different types of environmental risks and the potential effects they could have on your health.
  9. flag Healthy Homes – This website lists possible health hazards by each room found in your home. It also provides tips on how to make your house more “green.”  

Publications

  1. Environmental Control Measures - This is a helpful article from kidshealth.org.
  2. Fluoride and Water - This is a helpful article from kidshealth.org.
  3. Heat Illness - This is a helpful article from kidshealth.org.
  4. flag pdf Noise and Its Effects on Children – Exactly how loud is a jack hammer at 5 A.M.? This resource can tell you! It explains how your ears work and what you can do to protect your children from potential hearing loss. 
  5. flag Protecting Children from the Sun – Trying to beat the heat? This resource includes tips on how to protect your family from the sun. It also links to brochures on sun safety in the schools. 
  6. flag pdf Sun Safety: Save Your Skin! – This publication offers helpful suggestions such as the safest times to go out in the sun, how to apply sunscreen, and how what things you and your family should wear when exposed to sunlight. 
  7. flag What You Can Do to Protect Children from Environmental Risks – This resource provides an overview of important environmental issues to ensure safety in your home. It gives many links to other helpful publications on “going green.”
  8. Attack Asthma. Learn More – Even though your child may not have asthma, learning about the triggers of the disease can help improve the quality of the air you breathe.  This resource gives lists of things your family can do in and around the home to control your child’s asthma.  
  9. Common Poisons at Home & Work – This resource links to publications that can help keep your family safe from contaminants such as lead, mercury, and hydrocarbons. 
  10. Dangerous Chemicals in the Home – Worried about chemicals in your home harming your family? This publication lists the top five most common chemicals found in households and gives tips to prevent them from becoming dangerous situations for you and your loved ones.
  11. Water Safety for Parents – It is important to be aware of water safety practices as injuries can happen in amounts as small as one inch of water. Safety tips for the home, pool, and larger bodies of water are provided for parents in this publication.

Organizations

  1. flag National Cancer Institute
  2. flag National Center for Environmental Health
  3. flag National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, CDC
  4. flag National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  5. flag U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  6. flag U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  7. flag U.S. Geological Survey
  8. American Lung Association
  9. Center for Health, Environment & Justice
  10. Clean Water Action
  11. Environmental Literacy Council
  12. Natural Resources Defense Council

 

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Content last reviewed November 17, 2010
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

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