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Stay up to date with our recent research findings, news features, and publications below! Our blog is a great place to learn more detailed information about the collective nationwide network of Children's Environmental Health researchers and their findings.

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COVID-19 has completely reshaped daily life. While it may be tempting to begin resuming normal life as the summer months approach, it is necessary to take proper precautions and maintain safe social distancing even as parts of the country begin to reopen. There is still a lot of uncertainty at this time, so it is always better to stay on the safe side and err on the side of caution.

This doesn't, however, mean you can't enjoy outdoor summer activities. As of now, the CDC, recommends staying physically active. It's one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. In many areas, people can visit parks, hike trails, or be in open spaces as a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air and vitamin D, stay active and safely connect with others.

It is important to follow the steps below to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

DO Visit parks that are close to your home Prepare before you visit (this includes bringing facemasks, sanitizer, and any essentials you might need in the event of coming across other people) Stay at least 6 feet away from others (“social distancing”) and take other steps to prevent COVID-19 Play it safe around and in swimming pools. Keep space between yourself and others

DON’T Visit parks if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19 Visit crowded parks Use playgrounds Participate in organized activities or sports

It is important to keep in mind that parks will only be open at the discretion of state and local authorities, so be sure to research if the park you're planning to visit will be open ahead of time.

National parks will be open on a park-by-park basis as well, so be sure to check the National Park Service website to determine whether the park you're planning to visit will be open.

Beaches and swimming areas will be open at the discretion of state and local authorities as well. You should also check ahead of time to see if visitor centers and bathroom facilities at these places will be available, so you can determine what you need to bring with you.

Swimming does carry some health risks. Visit CDC’s Healthy Swimming website for information to help you prevent illness and drowning, while having fun and enjoying the health benefits of swimming.

As we all are surely aware by now, be sure to STAY 6 FEET AWAY from others and to WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN for 20 seconds with soap and water, and to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.

Also remember....

Avoid gathering with others outside of your household

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the everyday structure of life nationwide and around the world. Schools and jobs have gone completely remote, the nationwide unemployment levels are at an all-time high, friends and loved ones have been personally affected by the virus, and there are so many uncertainties and stress as a result.

Many of us have not seen anything like this pandemic in our lifetime. While dealing with the stressors, anxieties, and effects of the pandemic is a struggle for adults, the mental health and wellness of children is just as important to consider during these times.

Talking with your children about a global pandemic is surely not something most parents have been prepared for, but it is important to have conversations with your children to ease their anxieties.

Children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear.

The CDC recommends the tips below for talking with your children about COVID-19:

  • Remain calm. Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

  • Reassure children that they are safe. Let them know it is okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.

  • Make yourself available to listen and to talk. Let children know they can come to you when they have questions.

  • Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online. Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

  • Provide information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child. Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.

  • Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs. Remind children to wash their hands frequently and stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick. Also, remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.

  • If school is open, discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.

Facts about COVID-19 to discuss with children Try to keep information simple and remind them that health are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Scientists and doctors are still learning about it.

  • Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors are trying to learn more so they can help people who get sick.

  • Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.

What can I do so that I don’t get COVID-19? You can practice healthy habits at home, school, and play to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems.

  • If you do get sick, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. People can get sick from all kinds of germs. What’s important to remember is that if you do get sick, the adults at home will help get you any help that you need.


Did you know that toxic metals are not always adequately tested for in baby food? Ingredients in baby food are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in other products such as bottled water. Arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury are in the World Health Organization's top 10 chemicals of concern for infants and children. As natural elements, they are in the soil in which crops are grown and thus can't be avoided. Some crop fields and regions, however, contain more toxic levels than others, partly due to the overuse of metal-containing pesticides and ongoing industrial pollution. heavy metals have been linked to cancer, chronic disease and neurotoxic effects, but it's the devastating damage that can be done to a developing baby's brain that makes baby food toxicity so critical.

The US Food and Drug Administration has not yet set minimum levels for heavy metals in most infant food. The agency did set a standard of 100 parts per billion inorganic arsenic for infant rice cereal, but even that level is considered much too high for baby's safety, critics say, especially since the FDA has already set a much lower standard of 10 parts per billion of inorganic arsenic for bottled water.

So what can you do?

Avoid rice cereal and rice flour products

Parents can reduce their baby's exposure to arsenic in rice products by limiting their intake of infant rice cereal or other products and snacks that are made with rice flour. Substitute rice-based cereals with infant oatmeal cereal or other grains.

Avoid Juice and choose a variety of fruits & veggies

Ingredients in many baby foods, including some organic fare, are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in products like bottled water, congressional investigators said on Thursday.

Remember "organic" does not mean metal-free

Ingredients in many baby foods, including some organic fare, are contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium at levels that are far higher than those allowed in products like bottled water, congressional investigators said on Thursday.

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