Protecting Children from Pests and Pesticides
Pests commonly found in child care facilities and homes can pose risks to children’s health . Research suggests that pesticide sprays sometimes used to control harmful pests can also pose risks to children, who can be more sensitive to pesticide exposure than adults. To protect children from pests and pesticides, several government agencies, associations and other organizations recommend the use of Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, in children’s environments.
What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, controls pests while minimizing the potential for harm to people or the environment. IPM focuses on reducing food, water, and living space for pests, and sealing up pest entry routes into buildings. IPM reduces the need for pesticides in child care environments. Here’s how it works:
Four Indiana child care facilities received awards in 2002 for their involvement in IPM pilot programs sponsored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Purdue University. These programs demonstrated the success of IPM in child care environments by reducing pesticide use while efficiently managing pests.
Child Care Provider Expectations of pest Management Professionals (PMPs) - (power point presentation)
IPM Regulations and Recommendations
A New Illinois Law Requires Pesticide Notification, IPM in Daycare Facilities:
Senate Bill 1079, which passed the Illinois Legislature unanimously on May 14, 2003 will require licensed daycare facilities in Illinois to practice Integrated Pest Management and to notify parents in advance of pesticide applications. The new law goes into effect on Jan 1, 2004.
Senate Bill 1079 Summary - prepared by the Safer Pest Control Project.
A New Pest Management Policy is Recommended for Indiana Child Care Facilities:
A policy passed on Feb 17, 2003 by the Indiana Pesticide Review Board provides new recommended standards for pesticide use and pest management in child care facilities, including daycare centers, ministries, and in-home child care. The policy, although not yet a legal requirement, provides guidelines to help providers protect children from pests and pesticides and to notify parents about pesticide use.
Getting Started with IPM
Integrated Pest Management fits well in child care facilities because many IPM practices have benefits beyond pest control. For example:
- Good sanitation practices reduce health risks and pest risks at the same time
- Sealing up buildings to eliminate pest entry also provides energy savings
- Reducing clutter eliminates pest hiding places while improving worker efficiency and morale
Start Small: 5 Ways to Eliminate Pests Without a Pesticide
Still Have Questions?
Contact Tim Gibb via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, IPM in Schools Coordinator for Purdue University, at 1-877-668-8476.
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