Housing and child health

Michael Weitzman, Ahmareen Baten, David G. Rosenthal, Risa Hoshino, Ellen Tohn, David E. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The connection between housing and health is well established. Physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the child's home, such as cleanliness, moisture, pests, noise, accessibility, injury risks, and other forms of housing environmental quality, all have the potential to influence multiple aspects of the health and development of children. Basic sanitation, reduced household crowding, other improvements in housing and expanded, and improved housing regulations have led to advances in children's health. For example, lead poisoning prevention policies have profoundly reduced childhood lead exposure in the United States. This and many other successes highlight the health benefits for families, particularly children, by targeting interventions that reduce or eliminate harmful exposures in the home. Additionally, parental mental health problems, food insecurity, domestic violence, and the presence of guns in children's homes all are largely experienced by children in their homes, which are not as yet considered part of the Healthy Homes agenda. There is a large movement and now a regulatory structure being put in place for healthy housing, which is becoming closely wedded with environmental health, public health, and the practice of pediatrics. The importance of homes in children's lives, history of healthy homes, asthma, and exposures to lead, carbon monoxide, secondhand/thirdhand smoke, radon, allergy triggers is discussed, as well as how changes in ambient temperature, increased humidity, poor ventilation, water quality, infectious diseases, housing structure, guns, electronic media, family structure, and domestic violence all affect children's health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-224
Number of pages38
JournalCurrent Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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