• Heidi Brown

Child Care Centers are Reducing Pesticide Use

A note about the author: Heidi Brown is a Child Care Consultant working with Iowa Department of Human Services.

Do you provide outdoor play space that is safe from toxic chemicals? New research shows common lawn care applications to pose risks especially potent to children.

The University of Northern Iowa's Good Neighbor Iowa initiative is a statewide public education campaign to reduce children's exposure to commonly-used lawn pesticides. Pesticides are harmful to child development, and can increase the risk of neurobehavioral issues (such as ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder), endocrine disruption, and some tumor development.

Good Neighbor Iowa involves child care businesses, school districts, park managers and community leaders who are demonstrating that it is possible and practical to manage turf grass without the use of pesticides (weed killers, insecticides or fungicides).

Pesticides risks are recognized by Iowa Department of Public Health, with a new best practice policy includes in Healthy Child Care Iowa. This policy for omitting pesticides at child care business is called Lawn Care and Pest Management Policy (Find under-- Good Neighbor Iowa). The good news is that lawn care without chemicals is easier and saves you money. And kids will love playing with the dandelions!

Child care programs adopting the Pest Management Policy will receive these Good Neighbor Iowa materials:

  • brochures about pesticide-free lawn- share with parents!

  • State-side recognition as a pesticide free child care business

  • Pesticide Free yard signage

  • Iowa City centers receive a children's book & learning activity guide

Sign up here!

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