Protecting Children's Health and Safety

Resources for People Who Care About Kids

Published Jan 23, 2020

If you've read our book, Breathe In the Smog, Drink In the Lead, or our report, Endangering Generations, you may be wondering what you can do to help kids who are being hurt by the Trump Administration's attacks on science. On this page, we've gathered some resources to help answer that question.

Spreading the word

Our findings that attacks on science are harming children should be a wake-up call to decisionmakers. Raise your voice to let your representatives know that you demand action for kids' health and safety—and spread the word in your social networks.

  • Talk to your elected officials about what they’re going to do to protect children’s health.
  • Share the book and report on social media. Below is a sample tweet:

From food security to enforcement of children's safety in products, the admin's rollbacks are negatively impacting entire generations. If you care about kids, these groups that are doing critical and impactful work to #ProtectKids deserve your support. act.ucsusa.org/protecting-kids

Topical Resources

If you’d like to learn more about one or more of the issues covered in the report, here is a list of topical resources, including information on other groups doing critical and impactful work and how you can support their efforts.

Restricted access to food security programs

  • 1,000 Days—As the leading nonprofit organization working to ensure women and children in the U.S. and around the world have the healthiest first 1,000 days, they fight for policies and programs that provide moms and babies with access to good nutrition, the ability to meet their breastfeeding goals, community and workplace supports, and comprehensive health care. When it comes to nutrition, 1,000 Days works with policymakers, parents and caregivers, and other stakeholders to ensure all moms and babies have the nutrition assistance and information they need for a healthy 1,000-day window.

  • Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit that uses a racial equity lens to lift up the voices of low-income children, families, and individuals; equip advocates and organizers with policy ideas that work; build coalitions and partnerships to advance a bold vision; and help public officials put good ideas into practice. CLASP has been fighting back against the Administration's repeated attacks on core health, nutrition, and income support programs, and co-leads the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign, which has brought together over 400 groups to protect low-income immigrants and their families access to these supports without risking their immigration status.

Reduced federal meat inspections that threaten food safety

  • American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the District of Columbia, and is the leading voice on issues affecting the federal and D.C. government workforce—including federal food inspectors.

  • Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is the United State’s food and health watchdog. CSPI pushes for policies to keep our food supply free of dangerous pathogens and fight antibiotic resistance in the food chain, and is pushing to prevent the deregulation of pork inspection and ensure proper oversight to control harmful pathogens like Salmonella.

Decreased enforcement of the safety of children’s products

  • Campaign for Healthier Solutions is an environmental and economic justice-focused markets campaign led by grassroots community activists working to get toxic chemicals out of dollar stores. Based on CHS’s testing of many dollar store products, millions of families in food-deprived areas who rely on dollar stores for much of their food and household items are being exposed to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals. CHS advocates for stronger legal requirement that protect families who have no other shopping options.

  • The Ecology Center is a Michigan-based nonprofit organization that develops innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet in collaboration with kindred organizations around the world. The Ecology Center's campaigns using scientific testing for hazardous chemicals have had huge impacts in moving manufacturers to produce healthier products for children.

EPA failure to ban asbestos

  • The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is the largest national nonprofit dedicated to eliminating all asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. To achieve this mission, ADAO works with public health organizations and passionate leaders throughout the world to prevent consumer, environmental, and occupational exposure to asbestos.

  • Healthy Schools Network is the nation’s leading voice for children’s environmental health at school. Founded in 1995, it has fostered a growing national movement; helped parents and others nationwide with school environmental health issues; won state policies and funds for schools; secured new federal authorizations for the Environmental Protection Agency and for the Department of Education; and has been honored for its contributions to public health and the environment.

EPA failure to take strong action to regulate lead

  • Black Millennials For Flint (BM4F) is a grassroots, environmental justice and civil rights organization with the purpose of bringing like-minded organizations together to collectively take action and advocate against the crisis of lead exposure specifically in African American & Latino communities throughout the nation. Their work equips communities with digestible information regarding lead and lead exposure; provides access to direct resources to improve the quality of life in communities impacted by lead exposure; and supports local, state, and federal lead and environmental policy initiatives.

  • Green & Healthy Homes Initiative is a national non-profit organization working to break the link between unhealthy housing and unhealthy families by creating and advocating for health, safe, and energy efficient homes. GHHI identifies resources and informs local, state, and federal policy to overcome barriers to affordable, healthy and lead safe housing.

EPA allowing PFAS to persist

  • Clean Cape Fear is a volunteer-based grassroots alliance of community leaders, educators, and professionals working together to restore and protect water quality after learning DuPont/Chemours poisoned the drinking water supply of a quarter of million people in Southeastern North Carolina with dangerous levels of PFAS chemicals for decades. They also spotlight deficiencies in governmental regulations adversely impacting our right to clean water. Clean Cape Fear is equally committed to holding elected officials accountable.

  • Safer States is a national coalition of state-based advocates working to eliminate our exposure to harmful chemicals. Safer States coordinates a national campaign to coordinate state, local and national advocacy efforts to turn off the tap on PFAS, ensure proper cleanup of contaminated areas and ensure polluters are held financially accountable for their actions.

EPA permitting IQ-lowering pesticide on the market

  • The Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) is a 36-year old statewide, grassroots, non-profit, community-based organization comprised of over 10,000 members. FWAF works to protect the health and safety of farmworkers, including from the risks of pesticide exposure, including the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos which affects the neuro-development of farmworker children, putting them at risk for, among other things, learning disabilities and autism. FWAF conducts pesticide health and safety and reproductive health trainings with and for farmworkers and advocates for a stronger Worker Protection Standard and the elimination of all uses of chlorpyrifos and other toxic agricultural chemicals.

  • Pesticide Action Network (PAN) works to create a just, healthy and thriving food system, organizing with those on the frontlines of the pesticide problem—farmers, farmworkers, rural families and indigenous communities—to reclaim the future of food and farming. PAN works to protect children from the harms of pesticides by winning protective buffer zones around schools in rural areas, pressing for bans of the most dangerous pesticides (such as brain-harming chlorpyrifos), and advocating for safe and healthy farming practices.

Children and families detained and separated at the US-Mexico border

  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) protects children’s rights and well-being as they migrate alone in search of safety. KIND works to ensure that no child appears in immigration court without high quality legal representation; advances laws, policies, and practices that uphold children’s rights to due process and fundamental fairness; and promotes durable solutions to child migration grounded in the best interests of the child to ensure that no child is forced to migrate.

  • Women’s Refugee Commission—Since 1989, the Women’s Refugee Commission has worked to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. Their Migrant Rights and Justice program focuses on the right to seek asylum in the United States, working to ensure that refugees, including women, children, and families are provided with humane reception in transit and in the United States, are given access to legal protection, and are protected from exposure to gender discrimination or gender-based violence.

Weakened air pollution protections

  • Moms Clean Air Force is a community of over one million moms and dads united against air pollution and committed to fighting for climate safety to protect our children's health. They work across the US and through a vibrant network of state-based chapters building support for an end to climate pollution, bringing the voices of parents to decision makers, and protecting children from air pollution through education and advocacy.

  • Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (T.E.J.A.S.) is dedicated to providing community members with the tools necessary to create sustainable, environmentally healthy communities by educating individuals on health concerns and implications arising from environmental pollution, empowering individuals with an understanding of applicable environmental laws and regulations and promoting their enforcement, and offering community building skills and resources for effective community action and greater public participation. In addition to their advocacy and organizing efforts, T.E.J.A.S. co-hosts community air monitoring services and coordinates toxic tours in Houston to showcase the impact some of the largest refineries and chemical plants have on nearby neighborhoods.

Climate change will exacerbate the effects of extreme heat on children

  • Descendants Alliance "Descendants Alliance works to defend our ancestors teachings and honor their resistance. We want to give back to the people by spreading and encourage integrating our traditional knowledge of living with the earth and respecting all forms of life. We are the prayers of our ancestors and it is in us to protect the environment which we depend on to sustain us."

  • Earth Guardians is a 27 year old global non-profit organization that provides youth the tools and trainings to become the most effective leaders possible in the youth movement. Through art, music, story-telling, civic engagement and legal action, we inspire and train thousands of young activists to step in to their power so that they can move the environmental, climate and social justice movements forward.

How to talk to kids about complex/scary issues like these

Here are some resources that may help guide conversations with children about difficult topics in age-appropriate ways. The common theme is to tell the truth, let kids express their emotions, keep the conversation ongoing, and offer reassurance and positive activities that can be taken together.