Protecting Our Children From Home Health Hazards: Information for Primary Care Providers on Lead Poisoning and Asthma

WEBINAR: Thursday, May 8th 12:30pm—1:30pm EST

Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment in collaboration with the National Nursing Centers Consortium. Supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Clinical Directors Network.

As young children spend around 90% of their time in the home, with much of that time in their bedrooms, it is important to ensure that children have a healthy and safe place to live. Primary care providers can play a critical role in identifying environmental hazards in the home that impact on a child’s health by asking about environmental exposures and counseling patients on steps they can take to create a healthy home. This webinar will discuss environmental hazards in the home, with an emphasis on lead poisoning and asthma.

This session is pending for 1.0 Prescribed credit through the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). For the purposes of American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification and re-certification, participants may use these contact hours.


Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP
Medical Director for National and Global Affairs & Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment
Child Health Advocacy Institute
Children’s National Health System
Professor of Pediatrics and of Environmental & Occupational Health
George Washington University

Rachael Greenberg
Environmental Health Project Coordinator
National Nursing Centers Consortium

Date: May 8th, 2014, 12:30-1:30pm EST
Webinar Login: click “Join” and follow instructions
Call in-information: 1. Call conference number, US Toll Free 1-888-680-0812, 2. Enter the conference code: 700 286 1381

For questions contact: Veronica Tinney, 202-471-4829,

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Infographic: Parents Worldwide Agree – Our Kids Need More Nature


A new global survey of parents sheds light on how much time today’s kids spend out in nature, what’s keeping them indoors and what you can do. Our infographic lays it out.

Source: Nature Rocks

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Is the Common Core Developmentally Appropriate?


Teachers in early education, those with students between birth through age 8, use to the term “developmentally appropriate” to describe teaching approaches and content that align with proven research in child psychology, pediatrics, developmental psychology and neuroscience. The Common Core experienced attack from early educators, because teachers of early education find Common Core standards for young learners to be developmentally inappropriate. The Washington Post stated that the reason lies in the fact that the development of the Common Core did not include teacher participation.

Recent critiques of the Common Core Standards by Marion Brady and John T. Spencer have noted that the process for creating the new K-12 standards involved too little research, public dialogue, or input from educators. Nowhere was this more startlingly true than in the case of the early childhood standards—those imposed on kindergarten through grade 3. We reviewed the makeup of the committees that wrote and reviewed the Common Core Standards. In all, there were 135 people on those panels. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional.

One item that received much denouncement from early education experts is the standard for Fluency in English Language Arts in kindergarten: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RFK.4 – Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

One interpretation of reading “with purpose and understanding” leads educators to think that the writers of the Common Core expect kindergarteners to read like 8 year old children. Research places reading development into stages, and educators find that specific Common Core standard goes against research of kindergarteners’ development.

Source: Education Roundtable

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The Overprotected Kid


By Hanna Rosin

A trio of boys tramps along the length of a wooden fence, back and forth, shouting like carnival barkers. “The Land! It opens in half an hour.” Down a path and across a grassy square, 5-year-old Dylan can hear them through the window of his nana’s front room. He tries to figure out what half an hour is and whether he can wait that long. When the heavy gate finally swings open, Dylan, the boys, and about a dozen other children race directly to their favorite spots, although it’s hard to see how they navigate so expertly amid the chaos. “Is this a junkyard?” asks my 5-year-old son, Gideon, who has come with me to visit. “Not exactly,” I tell him, although it’s inspired by one. The Land is a playground that takes up nearly an acre at the far end of a quiet housing development in North Wales. It’s only two years old but has no marks of newness and could just as well have been here for decades. The ground is muddy in spots and, at one end, slopes down steeply to a creek where a big, faded plastic boat that most people would have thrown away is wedged into the bank. The center of the playground is dominated by a high pile of tires that is growing ever smaller as a redheaded girl and her friend roll them down the hill and into the creek. “Why are you rolling tires into the water?” my son asks. “Because we are,” the girl replies.

It’s still morning, but someone has already started a fire in the tin drum in the corner, perhaps because it’s late fall and wet-cold, or more likely because the kids here love to start fires. Three boys lounge in the only unbroken chairs around it; they are the oldest ones here, so no one complains. One of them turns on the radio—Shaggy is playing (Honey came in and she caught me red-handed, creeping with the girl next door)—as the others feel in their pockets to make sure the candy bars and soda cans are still there. Nearby, a couple of boys are doing mad flips on a stack of filthy mattresses, which makes a fine trampoline. At the other end of the playground, a dozen or so of the younger kids dart in and out of large structures made up of wooden pallets stacked on top of one another. Occasionally a group knocks down a few pallets—just for the fun of it, or to build some new kind of slide or fort or unnamed structure. Come tomorrow and the Land might have a whole new topography.

Other than some walls lit up with graffiti, there are no bright colors, or anything else that belongs to the usual playground landscape: no shiny metal slide topped by a red steering wheel or a tic-tac-toe board; no yellow seesaw with a central ballast to make sure no one falls off; no rubber bucket swing for babies. There is, however, a frayed rope swing that carries you over the creek and deposits you on the other side, if you can make it that far (otherwise it deposits you in the creek). The actual children’s toys (a tiny stuffed elephant, a soiled Winnie the Pooh) are ignored, one facedown in the mud, the other sitting behind a green plastic chair. On this day, the kids seem excited by a walker that was donated by one of the elderly neighbors and is repurposed, at different moments, as a scooter, a jail cell, and a gymnastics bar.

Source: The Atlantic

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Planning an Effective Response for the Next Epidemic — with Children in Mind


By Amy Grissom, Region VI Regional Emergency Management Specialist

North Central Texas is a “hot spot” for potential emergency events. The proactive staff at the Dallas County Health Department has partnered with the Administration for Children and Families to reach early childhood programs and stakeholders so they can be ready and resilient when emergencies impact them, the families that depend on them, and their communities.

On Feb. 20, we held a joint emergency and influenza preparedness training for more than 100 registrants. Dallas County early childhood programs, such as Head Start and Child Care, were the focus. However, a wide range of local, state and federal stakeholders within HHS Region VI also joined. Participants included mental health, faith based, emergency response and non-profit colleagues.

In person at the HHS Regional Office and via live webcast, participants learned emergency planning basics and were provided with helpful personal and organizational emergency planning resources. Both early childhood grantees and emergency response staff told me they found the training helpful, plus an important step in being more prepared to meet children’s needs in emergencies.

Dallas County will continue its focus on children’s needs in emergencies by convening a local task force to strengthen the focus on children in emergency plans and to leverage resources for children and families during and after emergencies and disasters.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

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Improving Head Start Teachers’ Ability to Promote Children’s Social-emotional Development


By Ann C. Rivera, Ph.D., Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

In one academic year, teachers in 104 Head Start centers and 307 classrooms across the country increased their use of evidence-based practices in support of children’s social-emotional development. These improvements in teacher practice resulted from the large-scale implementation of three preschool enhancements tested as part of the Head Start CARES (Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion) Demonstration.

A new report evaluates the extent to which the demonstration successfully scaled-up the three program enhancements: The Incredible Years Teacher Training Program (IY), Preschool PATHS (PATHS), and Tools of the Mind – Play (TOOLS).

Each enhancement improved the specific teacher practices that it emphasized:

  • IY improved teachers’ classroom management climate
  • PATHS bolstered teachers’ social and emotional instruction
  • TOOLS increased teachers’ support of interactions and play

Each of the enhancements used a similar model of professional development — teacher training, curriculum-focused coaching, and related supports — to support teachers in delivering the enhancements as intended.

For additional information on the demonstration’s implementation and the teacher practice findings, visit the resources of ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and the contractor for this project, MDRC.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

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Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants and Child Care Research Scholars grant

Closing Date: June 16, 2014

Two grants notices are included here, both from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE). The first grant pertains to Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants. The second concerns Child Care Research Scholars grants.

Source: Office of Head Start

Available at: URL:

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