Children's environmental health

National profiles on children's health and environment: Assessing readiness for improving environmental health protection systems for children

Prepared by Martha Shimkin and Jenny Pronczuk

National profiles cover

The children's environmental health profiles are narrative assessments of the situation of children's environmental health in a given country. They are primarily based upon input from governmental, international, and non-governmental organizations, including professional organizations, academia and the private sector. These groups are convened through a series of multi-stakeholder meetings to discuss responses to a set of questions provided in the format on a variety of topics related to children's health and the environment. Important input may also come from the review of publications and reports, input from experts in areas related to children’s health, and observation of the settings where children spend most of their time.

The National Profiles on Children's Health and the Environment are qualitative and descriptive. They complement quantitative efforts to assess children’s environmental health through the use of information collection and indicators reporting. A profile is owned by the country that develops it and is often a country's first written document on the status of children's environmental health. It assesses government and national capabilities and interest to explicitly target improved policies and protection of children from environmental hazards. An initial national profile is intended to be the first of a series of periodic assessments that will allow a country to evaluate progress made and lessons learned, successes and challenges, and overall, to identify key concerns and design actions and interventions so that children are protected and supported as they strive to reach their full potential.