Better Housing for Healthier Children

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.

Asthma

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.

Lead

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.

Resources

Reports

Better Housing for Healthier Children
A Report by the Community Health
Roundtable

This 2018 report by the Community Health Roundtable describes how some housing conditions in Springfield may be harming the health of our children. Click here for the report.

Up to Code

Code Enforcement Strategies for Healthy Housing

 

The National Center for Healthy Housing developed a guide about how to enforce housing codes that assure that all housing in a community is safe and healthy. Click here.

Healthy Housing Checklist

This simple, comprehensive checklist, provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, can be used by homeowners, landlords, and tenants to conduct a careful inspection of a residential property. Click 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.

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