Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Environmental Illness in Children
Children are more likely than adults to get an
environmental illness, because they are
still developing. Also, some ways that children behave, such as crawling and putting things in their mouths, can expose them to dangerous substances.
Children in urban areas are most affected by environmental illnesses. The
prevalence and number of deaths from
asthma is highest among poor urban children. Because
of their exposure to pollutants,
cigarette smoke, pesticides,
toxins in our environment, research shows that
children may be increasingly affected by:
Some environmental factors affecting
children's health include:
Parents may be concerned that their children are being exposed to
environmental hazards at home and in school. Think about the following questions,
and talk to your child's doctor if you are worried your child may be at risk for
Akinbami LK, et al. (2011). Asthma prevalence, health care use, and mortality: United States, 2005–2009. National Health Statistics Reports, 32: 1–16.
Woodruff TJ, et al. (2004). Trends in environmentally related childhood illnesses. Pediatrics, 113(4): 1133–1140.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2007).
Assessing health risks from pesticides. Available online:
Council on Environmental Health (2012). Pesticide exposure in children. Pediatrics, 130(6): e1757–e1763. Available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757.full. [Erratum in Pediatrics, 131(5): 1013. Also available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/5/1013.3.full.]
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Pediatrics (2005). Lead poisoning from a toy necklace. Pediatrics, 116(4): 1050–1051.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2005). The need for vigilance: The persistence of lead poisoning in children. Pediatrics, 115(6): 1767–1768.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMarch 25, 2016
Current as of:
March 25, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital