Toxic-Free Child ProgramThanks to a generous grant from the Episcopal Health Foundation, Texas PSR has created materials for household toxics education through our Toxic-Free Child program.
The goal of the program is to educate low-income pregnant women and young families about the dangers of common household toxics, and to offer simple strategies to minimize exposure and prevent health complications.
In our pilot year, we developed curriculum, created brochures in both Spanish and English, trained bilingual nurses, and delivered content in local community health centers and nonprofit agencies in the Austin area.
NEW! We now have a free, downloadable Instructor Guide, printable cleaning supplies recipe cards, and Suggested Class Script in both English and Spanish. You can find all those and more in the Resources section of our website (under the “Toxics and Health” tab).
Families Want this Information
Feedback from class participants has been overwhelmingly positive. One young mother said, “I learned so much and I will no longer use plastic to heat up any food!” Another woman noted, “This class is important; the things we were told are important to know how to prevent harm to our family from the products we use at home.”
“This class is important; the things we were told are important to know how to prevent harm to our family from the products we use at home.”
The Toxic-Free Child Program Is Effective
To evaluate program effectiveness, we created a simple pre- and post-test with five questions in common. The post-test included two additional questions on course effectiveness and the likelihood to change behavior in the home.
At the end of our pilot year, we measured course effectiveness. The results were striking. While 63 percent of questions on the pre-test were answered correctly, 92 percent of questions on the post-test were answered correctly. That’s a 46 percent improvement rate!
- 63% Correct Before Test 60%
- 92% Correct After Test 90%
Community Health Educators Approve
We’ve offered Toxic-Free Child classes at El Buen Samaritano, Any Baby Can, and AVANCE in Austin. In each case, we’ve been invited back. One provider writes, “Your class was one of my favorites, very informative. Your presentation was simple and clear. Moms love it!!!”
Next Steps: Expanding Our Reach
We are eager to expand the reach of our Toxic-Free Child program. If you are interested in bringing this program to a community health center near you, please let us know! And be sure to check out all our program materials—including an Instructor Guide, printable cleaning supplies recipe cards, and Suggested Class Script in both English and Spanish—in the Resources section of our website (under the “Toxics and Health” tab).
Thank you, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, for providing non-toxic personal care products for class attendees! Thanks to your generous support of community health, moms and new parents in our classes received paraben-free shampoo or natural mineral sunscreen (non-chemical) for babies.
Our Toxic-Free Child Program Manager was Trish O’Day, MSN, RN, CNS-Community Health. We are gratefully indebted to her for her excellent work in creating this program.