Top 10 Ways to Protect Kids from Pesticides

Top 10 Ways to Protect Kids from Pesticides

Last week, Pesticide Action Network released A Generation in Jeopardy, an easy-to-read — but deeply disturbing — report that highlights the latest science linking pesticides and children’s health harms.

The take-home message? It’s time we do a better job protecting our kids from these dangerous chemicals. The problem is big, and can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together a list of all the ways concerned parents and others can be part of the solution.

We’re confident that working together, we can do it. Here are the Top 10 things we recommend — right now — to get us started.

  1. Choose kid-safe foods. Whenever possible, shop for fruits and veggies free of pesticides that harm children’s health. More and more families across the country are choosing pesticide-free or organic produce, joining local CSAs, shopping at farmers’ markets or planting their own backyard gardens!
  2. Keep homes kid-safe. Use safer, alternative methods to control pests in homes, on your pets, and on your lawns and gardens.
  3. Create safer child care. Daycare centers should be free of pesticides known to harm children. Ask your daycare facility about the pesticides they use, and urge them to join the Eco-Healthy Child Care program run by our partners at the Children’s Environmental Health Network.
  4. Make schools pesticide-free, inside & out. Pesticides that harm children — and especially those known to harm developing minds — have no place in our schools. Learn what communities across the country are doing to create school environments free of neurotoxic pesticides.
  5. Link local farms to school plates. Urge your school district to link with a pesticide-free farm-to-school program to protect children from pesticide residues and build the family farm economy.
  6. Support green & healthy farming. Our policies should better support farmers who grow healthy, pest-free crops without relying on pesticides that can harm children. Let’s make financial help and on-farm technical support for these growers a national priority.
  7. Spread the word about pesticides & health. Follow and share the science on pesticides and kids health with friends, family, parent-teacher groups and neighbors.
  8. Press policymakers to put children’s health first. Overall, current rules protect the interests of the pesticide corporations much better than they protect our children. Pesticides stay on the market long after science shows they harm children’s health, and new pesticides are approved that may increase the risk. Find out how you can help press for policies that put children’s health first.
  9. Vote for kids’ health. Hold politicians accountable to vote for kids’ health, not pesticide industry profits.
  10. Join the PAN family. We will keep you informed, plug you into smart actions and help you spread the word.


Kristin Schafer

Kristin Schafer, M.A. is a Senior Policy Strategist at Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and the Lead Author on several PAN reports. Her work focuses on the intersection of pesticides, children’s health, and policy issues. She writes often on the topic for PAN’s GroundTruth blog.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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