June 2016 will mark the first annual National Healthy Homes Month.
National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM) is an outreach campaign designed to raise awareness about home health and safety hazards and to empower families to learn how to create the healthiest home possible. The month is designed to encourage and promote organized community events and awareness. The month will also highlight federal and local resources that are available to make a difference in the places where families live, play and grow.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is coordinating with other offices within other federal agencies to encourage families to take action around the Principles of a Healthy Home during National Healthy Homes Month.
The Principles of a healthy home are:
1. Keep your home Dry – Mold and Moisture increase allergens and asthma triggers and can cause deterioration of your home.
2. Keep your home Clean – Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants.
3. Keep your home Pest-Free – Many pest treatments that pose risks for families with health problems or expose young children and pets to poisonous residue. Non-pesticide treatments are best for a first line of defense.
4. Keep your home Safe – A majority of injuries among children occur in the home. Falls are the most frequent cause of residential injuries to children, followed by injuries from objects in the home, burns, and poisonings.
5. Keep your home Contaminant-Free – Chemical exposures include lead, radon, pesticides, and environmental tobacco smoke. Exposures to radon gas, carbon monoxide, and second-hand tobacco smoke are far higher indoors than outside.
6. Keep your home Ventilated – Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health. Air filters in HVAC units collect and protect families from many particulates found in the air.
7. Keep your home Maintained – Poorly-maintained homes increase the risk for deteriorated lead-based paint in older housing which is the primary cause of lead poisoning in children less than 6 years of age.
8. Keep your home Temperature Controlled – Houses that do not maintain adequate temperatures may place the safety of residents at increased risk of exposure to extreme cold or heat.