All children deserve and need a safe and healthy environment to grow and develop. They need clean air to breathe and safe water to drink, nutritious food to eat, and healthy places in which to live, learn, and play. Early exposure to harmful agents can lead to acute and chronic adverse outcomes. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to environmental exposures because they breathe, eat, and drink more, in proportion to their body size, than do adults, and because their bodies and brains are still developing.
There are 2.3 million children in North Carolina and nearly 21% live in poverty.
Poverty is an important social determinant of health; poverty hurts children and their families.
Children of color and young children are disproportionately poor and experience a host of issues that lead to adverse health outcomes.