Sign in or
Welcome! This is a website that everyone can build together. It's easy!
Missouri Kids Health Coalition Home
Missouri Kids Health Coalition (MO Kids) was formed to bring together organizations and resources to make our Missouri children's health and future potential a priority. We support the dissemination of information and activation of plans and policies for healthy practices for our children at school, home and extra-curricular and athletic activities. We promote healthy lifestyles such as healthy diets, exercise, healthy schools and day-cares including safer pest management and healthy indoor air quality. We take on projects that are in-line with our priorities to ensure the health of Missouri's children.
Why are healthy lifestyles important?
There is a new epidemic!
With more than 17% of the children in the U.S. under age 18 (that's nearly 12 million children) suffering from one of more learning, behavioral or developmental disabilities and another 6.3 million children (roughly 8%) suffering with asthma, these issues must be a top priority. Not only is the individual impacted but also the family, the health care system and our school systems. We as a united, caring community have to take notice and do what we can to stop this trend.
Did you know?
Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization and school absenteeism in the U.S. In 2001, 4 million children had asthma attacks. Worldwide, deaths from asthma have reached more than 180,000 annually.
Another vital fact:
"Unlike an adult, the developing child exposed to neurotoxic chemicals during critical developmental windows of vulnerability may suffer from lifelong impacts on brain function."
How can this be?
Environmental exposures have been linked to these conditions and other health problems. We are all a combination of our genetics and our environment. Factors in the environment can trigger the diseases associated with our genetics. We can't change our genetics but we can change our environment. Environmental factors include a combination of things. It includes the food we eat, the stresses in our lives, the amount of sleep we get, the amount of exercise we engage in, the indoor and outdoor air we breathe and the toxic exposures that we encounter so frequently in today's society. Toxic exposures are a factor that we can control as an individual, to some extent, but mostly as a group or society. It takes many individuals grouping together to change society. As John F. Kennedy said "one person can make a difference, and every person should try". Our children are depending on us to protect them.
So what can be done?
Pesticides, cleaning supplies (including fragrances, deodorizers and air fresheners), maintenance products and construction materials affect the indoor air quality and can be neurotoxic (toxic to the nervous system). These neurotoxic products are commonly found in homes, businesses and schools. Neurotoxic ingredients/materials have been linked to learning, developmental & behavioral conditions, asthma attacks and even reduced intellect. We can help by eliminating the use of air fresheners and deodorizers, using fragrance-free and no or low-VOC products, using safer pest control practices that are non-toxic and non-volatile and we can make educated selections for safe or safer products.
What? No way - we live in the U.S. - Aren't the products we buy screened for our protection? How can products sold in the U.S. be hazardous to our health?
According to Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center
"Today, children are exposed to thousands of substances in the environment, most of which have never been tested for toxicity to children" They expound further upon this...
So what's the plan? What do we do?
Nutrition, adequate rest and exercise help build stronger, healthier bodies. This can assist the body to heal from unavoidable exposures and help to fight off illness. Is diet, rest and exercise alone good enough to protect our children? - NO it's not. Children's systems are developing from the fetal development stage, infancy and childhood all the way through adolescence. Even minor exposures on a critical day of development can have life-long effects. The fact that children are in their developmental phase of life (through adolescence) puts them in the high risk group and makes them more vulnerable than adults. Education, personal action and protective practices and policies to select safe products and sometimes changing the way we do things are necessary to protect our children. Let's work together to find the safest solutions and to make this happen.
Take a Closer Look
Find out more information regarding these statistics and the links to environmental exposures:
|If there is an epidemic, then why isn't it obvious?|
Learning, Behavioral, Developmental & Health Impaired are Invisible Disabilities and Are Prevalent
According to the US Census Bureau, approximately one in five Americans has a disability (1). While 50 million Americans have disabilities, only about 7 million people use a visible assistive device (2, 3). That’s about 43 million people with “Invisible disabilities”. These invisible disabilities are more common than most people think and the spectrum of these disabilities range from deafness, intellectual or developmental disability to chronic diseases with effects that are unseen but profound. According to the National Institute of Nursing Research, more than 40 million people are limited in their daily activities by chronic illness and 75% of them are under the age of 65 years (4, 5). The term Invisible Disabilities refers to a person's symptoms such as extreme fatigue, dizziness, pain, weakness, cognitive impairments, etc. that are sometimes or always debilitating whether or not a person utilizes an assistive device. These symptoms can occur due to chronic illness, chronic pain, injury, birth disorders, etc. and are not always obvious to the onlooker. A person can have an Invisible Disability whether or not they have a "visible" impairment or use an assistive device like a wheelchair, walker, cane, etc. (6). References
| Do you live in Missouri? Do you want to show off your children while also showing your support for healthy living? Send in a photo. If your picture is one that is selected we will feature your child's picture or your childrens' group picture with a healthy message on our slide show. Let's put some faces on Missouri's children. |
Show us your VIP!
What's new in Missouri? Green Cleaning
Why are the Cleaning Supplies Used in Schools Important? The chemicals in cleaning products affect the indoor air quality and have been linked to cancer, birth defects, developmental, with this modern-day epidemic of disabilities, it is a priority for the schools (where children spend a significant portion of their day) to examine these products and make policies to eliminate potentially harmful exposures.
WARNING! The Term "Green" is an environmental or merely a conservation standard. It is not a health Standard!
First and Foremost:
Look for healthy Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)practices/products and then look to environmental conservation!Make human health conservation the number one priority!
Need help developing a fragrance-free indoor environment? Check out the United States National Institute of Building Sciences Guidelines...
Missouri Kid's Health Coalition Pick
For Schools, Child Care Facilities, Homes, Everywhere
Good, Better and Best Green Cleaning Guidelines/Products
Better Option: Greening the Cleaning products with full disclosure and safety goal
Good Option: Third Party Certification of "Green" Products This is better than business/commercial products as usual - Warning, Warning - most of the third party certified green products are only a conservation standard and not a safety measure. Also, many certified "green products" just dilute toxic ingredients in their products to ONLY REDUCE Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) rather than going all the way and substituting with safe ingredients. According to Green Seal (a third-party certification company) "Limitations on Purpose of Standard (for GS-37 cleaning products): Green Seal's Standards provide basic criteria to promote environmental quality. Provisions for product safety have not been included in this standard because government agencies and other national agencies and other national standard-setting organizations establish and enforce safety requirements".
Third party certification is an option that is considered one bar up from the off the shelf or "regular cleaning" products. If third party certification is chosen, be sure to take minimal precautions for health benefits by adding caveat that only ingredients that are fragrance-free and dye-free and no air fresheners or urinal deodorizers are to be used.
Note: Many "green" organizations told us third-party certification "It's better than nothing"
If the ingredients aren't harmful - why hide them?
Just as we want to know what's in our foods, we want to know what's in our indoor environment so we can make educated decisions using our own priorities, not industry's!!
We challenge all companies with "Third Party Certification" to step up to the plate and provide a list of all their ingredients so we can all make an educated decision.
"Better than nothing" is not good enough when talking about children's health!
We want what's best for all our children!
We will not jump in line when we hear a product is "green" without knowing what we are endorsing!
****There is no real standard for "green"*****
****"green" is not necessarily a health measure****
Green is more of a conservation standard which is great but it
fails in comparison to protecting our children!
We will not take industry's word for the safety of products.
Children are a sensitive population, and we will work for the best health standards and will truly leave no child behind!
Send us your letter of support and pledge to leave no child behind and rally for the children's health conservation.
So what's the Buzz About Green Cleaning in Missouri Schools?
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was tasked with developing and providing guidelines for green cleaning in schools as a result of state legislature SB 1181.
Find out more about the process, procedures and outcome of this legislation. Find out more...
Missouri Kids Health Coalition along with some of the committee members had some Concerns and Recommendations for the Green Cleaning Committee from the get-go. Green cleaning recommendations should be drawn from a thorough review of scientific and medical literature, a fair hand and the right priorities.
See What doctors, physician educators and professors had to say to the Green Cleaning Committee and their recommendations....
Disability advocates, nurses, Missouri citizens and a nation-wide community of concerned people from all over the U.S. sent letters as well.
Guess What's Bugging Us Now?
It's not the bugs! It's the fact that many pesticides are poisonous to our children's nervous systems.
Did you know insecticides attack the nervous system of insects, which shares for the most part the same cellular and biochemical characteristics as mammals?
This topic is important to Missouri. Missouri has an IPM - that's Integrated Pest Managment Work Group to address IPM in our schools. For more information contact a member of the group at MOSMPL@hotmail.com
Check out the brochure "Pesticides 101" for general information regarding pesticide exposures and the health risks.
Missouri Organizations that Support Children's Health
Missouri Governor's Council on Disability Resource Guide for Children's Health
Governor's Council fragrance-free policy guidelines
St. Louis Learning and Disabilities Association's "Understanding How Neurotoxins Are Linked to Learning Disabilities"
| Definitions of Terms Used |
Once the Green Cleaning project winds down, we will center our attention on pesticide exposure and the health effects for children - in schools, day cares, athletic ball fields and more...
There are no threads for this page. Be the first to start a new thread.