To reduce the risk of adverse health problems associated with chronic exposure to pesticides, a randomized control study will evaluate a nurse-led integrated pest management (IPM) intervention in 88 child care centers serving socio-economically and ethnically diverse preschool-age children in four California counties. Positive changes in IPM knowledge, policies, practices, pests, and pesticide exposure will be assessed.
Reducing Pesticide Exposures to Preschool-age Children in California Child Care Centers
The goal of this study is to reduce children's exposure to pesticides in child care centers to improve their long-term health. A randomized-control trial in four northern California counties will compare changes in pesticide exposure among child care centers assigned to an IPM intervention versus an attention control intervention on physical activity. Eighty-eight child care centers serving socio-economically and ethnically diverse preschool-age children will be enrolled. This study will be modeled on a successful nurse-led child care health consultation intervention comprised of an educational workshop, materials and tools, and center-specific consultation over seven months. In addition, the study will include novel methods of measuring pesticide concentrations in child care centers (dust) and to individual children in the child care settings (silicone wristbands). The study aims are to determine if a nurse-led IPM intervention (1) increases child care center staff's IPM knowledge, (2) improves center's IPM policies and practices, (3) reduces pest problems (i.e., pests present, pest residue), (4) increases director's self-efficacy, (5) reduces pesticide exposures in child care center environments, and (6) reduces child-level pesticide exposures in the intervention child care centers compared to the control centers.