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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Go Green for Your Family's Health

Getting your kids involved in helping the environment is not only good for the planet—it’s also good for your family’s health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when it comes to air pollution, the greater the level of pollutants in the air, the more there’s a chance for your child to experience asthma flare-ups and irritation to the eyes, nose and throat.

Your kids can do their part to protect the environment with a few simple ideas. Below are some fun tips that will help you and your child get started:

When Home, at School, and Outside

  • Set an example! When you go shopping, buy local. Take your child to the farmer’s market to pick out a healthy, locally grown treat. Buying local products reduces energy burned to transport goods.
  • Avoid waste by letting your child pick out a favorite lunch box and thermos to reuse every day at school.
  • Turn off the tap! According to the EPA, turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, which equals 240 gallons a month.
  • Invest in rechargeable batteries for your child’s electronics.
  • Save energy (and money!) by replacing incandescent bulbs in your child’s room with an Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL). Let your child know that one CFL bulb uses 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb.
  • Walk more. If possible, walk your child to school or to after school activities.
  • Set up a recycling center in your home. Have your child decorate labels for separate bins for glass, plastics and paper.

Around the Yard

  • Grow a green thumb. Planting a garden with your child is a simple way to help the environment. Whether inside or outside, plants clean the air.
  • When planning your garden, opt for native plants, which don’t need as much water as introduced species.

How to Pack a Waste-Free Lunch
Do include:

  • Sandwiches in reusable containers
  • Whole fruits without packaging
  • Drinks in containers that can be reused, such as a thermos, or recycled, such as a can
  • Snacks purchased in bulk and brought in reusable containers

Don’t include:

  • Individually wrapped snacks
  • Plastic baggies that are not reusable
  • Disposable forks and spoons
  • Straws

Be Creative: Find New Ways to Reduce Waste Quantity and Toxicity
There are many ways to reduce the amount and the toxicity of solid waste. By thinking creatively, many new uses for common items and new possibilities for source reduction and recycling can be discovered. Here are just a few ideas. Now, try some of your own!

  • Turn a giant cardboard box into a child’s playhouse.
  • Transform a plastic ice cream tub into a flower pot.
  • Give pet hamsters or gerbils paper towel and toilet paper cardboard tubes with which to play.
  • Use an egg carton to plant seedlings.
  • Turn used tires (not steel-belted) into children’s swings or other playground equipment.
  • Select nontoxic inks and art supplies.
  • Choose beverages such as water or milk in reusable containers, where appropriate.


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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .