Our community needs to act to protect all Springfield children from unhealthy living conditions including the two most prevalent health risks to children caused by environmental conditions: asthma and blood lead levels.
1 in 7 children in Springfield District 186 has been diagnosed with wth asthma.
Asthma can be caused or made worse by household conditions like mold, pests, and other triggers that cause attacks.
Asthma affects children from all parts of Springfield and Sangamon County, but is more prevalent in lower income neighborhoods, where there are significantly higher rates of severe asthma attacks requiring ER visits and hospital care.
The estimated overall financial cost to all Springfield families who have a child with asthma, including medical and personal expenses, exceeds $6 million per year.
Facts: Any blood lead level above 0 is abnormal and harmful to children; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define a level of 5 or above as dangerous. Lead levels greater than 5 can result in permanent, irreversible damage that persists into adulthood, causing lower IQs, poorer educational outcomes, and behavioral problems. Lead levels over 10 can cause even more severe and persistent intellectual and behavioral problems, anemia, and nerve damage.
In Sangamon County, the rate of children with blood lead levels over 5 is 68% higher than the state rate; the rate of children with blood lead levels over 10 is 60% higher than the state rate.
The Sangamon County Continuum of Learning group made 25 recommendations for strengthening our community’s educational support for our children. The complete document is here.
The Nurse Family Partnership
This key program has been implemented in Sangamon County as a critical program to improve overall long term outcomes for infants and toddlers. Information about the local program can be found here. Information about the national program can be found here.
Education is a Social Determinant of Health
The social determinants of health, like education, social involvement, financial stability, and neighborhood conditions where you live, account for your health even more than good medical care. Read about it here
Healthy Housing Reference Manual
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Do you want to dive in deep to what makes housing healthy? Check this resource available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here
American Public Health Association’s Basic Principles of Healthful Housing
This 20-year-old foundational summary from the American Public Health Association describes the traits of healthy housing that remain relevant today. Click here.
The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Promote Healthy Homes
The Surgeon General of the United States found that Healthy Housing is a critical factor in assuring the overall health of people and communities. Click here.
The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH)
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Illinois Department of Public Health, Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Illinois Department of Public Health: Asthma Partnership and Asthma Surveillance
US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, National Center for Environmental Health Childhood Lead Poisoning