National Healthy Homes Month 2018

In June of 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inaugurated the first National Healthy Homes Month (NHHM). The theme that year was “Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home.”

Today, the annual month-long celebration continues to offer an opportunity for the public to learn more about housing and its impact on health. It is also a time for agencies, such as HUD, to raise awareness and provide resources for what makes a home healthy, and to strengthen coordination and collaboration between housing and health at the federal, state and local levels.

This continues to be important because Americans spend about two-thirds of their time in a residence – their own home, a family member’s or a friend’s – according to HUD. The agency also states that a healthy and safe home is one that incorporates the principles of a healthy home. These would include the following:

  • Keep your home Dry – Mold and moisture increase allergens and asthma triggers and can cause deterioration of a home. • Keep your home Clean – Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants.
  • Keep your home Pest-Free – Many pest treatments 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Keep your home Temperature Controlled – Houses that do not maintain adequate temperatures may place the safety of residents at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold or heat.