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Summertime Play-Worry Free!

by Ashley Chesser — last modified Jul 22, 2014 12:14 AM
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Ensure a trip to the park is safe for your kids and pets.

Summer tips from Megan Dunn,
Healthy People & Communities Program Director

Children are more susceptible to the dangers of pesticides, their bodies are not fully developed and they have behaviors that increase their exposure.  The best way to keep kids safe is to avoid exposure to pesticides-in what they eat, where they live and where they play. 

For many parents, during the summer and when the weather is right, play time means taking the kids to the park. But many cities continue to spray harmful pesticides.  Parents can avoid these areas or ask their city to discontinue the use of toxic chemicals.  Many cities in the Northwest maintain their parks without regularly spraying -including Eugene and Seattle.  

To find the safest place to play for kids and pets, one county in Washington has a map that lists the pesticide free and reduced spaces. In King County Washington, the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program mapped places to take your kids and pets to play worry free.  The interactive map shows public recreation places in King County and allows site visitors to search for specific places or by location. 

Link to King County map:

If you’d like your city to not spray-just ask them!  See our Community Toolbox page on how to ask your city to go pesticide free (

For some families, summer means more time at daycare.  Children’s Environmental Health Network has a similar interactive map to locate “eco-healthy child care.”  This program supports providers in childcare settings that have committed to reducing children’s exposure to environmental health hazards.  These hazards include pesticides as well as lead, mercury and toxins in cleaning supplies and art supplies.  You can read more about the program and check the map for a participating childcare center near you.

Map of child care providers:

Whether you are looking for the safest play indoors or outdoors, one thing is certain: the safest summertime fun is pesticide free!

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