The Trump administration is making parenting significantly harder and putting our kids’ health at risk. In a new report, “Endangering Generations: How the Trump Administration’s Assault on Science Is Harming Children’s Health,” we catalogue a wide range of policy changes that specifically undermine the health and safety of children. UCS is also illustrating these harms with a new storybook, “Breathe in the Smog, Drink In the Lead: A Grim Scary Tale for People Who Care about Kids.” These two new publications tell the story of how dramatically the Trump administration has abandoned the mission of protecting kids based on the best evidence.
As the lead author of the report and a mom, uncovering these details was difficult. As parents, we do everything in our power to keep our kids safe and we expect that the government has got the bigger things like clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and safe products in our homes. Learning that the government isn’t ensuring that these basic protections are enforced or strengthened is anxiety-inducing at best and life-threatening at worst. As this administration ignores its own scientists and the findings of independent scientists to make flawed decisions on issues ranging from lead to food security, what can we as parents do to stop to hold this government accountable to protect our kids?
- Arm ourselves with information
Knowledge is power. In this case, it can be difficult to digest information about the impacts of policy decisions on pregnant women, children, and families, but the more we know, the more we can do to put an end to the onslaught of attacks on science. Luckily for us, there are so many experts all across the nation working to protect children’s health. Check out our full resource guide here.
- Mobilize our communities
As we all know, it takes a village to raise a child. Let’s not underestimate the power of those villages unified to protect our children. Talk to your family, friends, children’s teachers, fellow PTO members, youth group leaders, coaches, librarians, and dance instructors. Whether they’re child-rearers or child-supporters, the odds are they want to know about the risks kids are facing as a result of government decisions or inaction.
- Hold our elected officials accountable
We’re all busy but we are missing a huge opportunity by not treating democracy as an action to be exercised more frequently than every year at election day. Don’t get me wrong, voting is pivotal and all of us should be registered to vote and bring those kiddos into the booths, but we should also be spending the rest of the time holding our elected officials accountable for representing our best interests! Our report results indicate that our government isn’t looking out for our little ones. We are a force to be reckoned with and can push for and win on policies that put kids first. UCS has lots of tips in how to get engaged in the policymaking process, ranging from writing a letter to the editor to meeting with your member of congress in Washington, DC.
I wrote this report and contributed to this storybook in the hopes that it would help sound the alarm and get everyone who cares about kids, which should be every soul on this planet, to help advocate for science-based policies that help protect them from risks in their daily lives that could easily be prevented through reasonable policy actions. I hope you will join me in rising up and advocating for children’s health. My daughter is my world, all kids make up our universe, and right now, they need our help. We should stand for nothing less than healthy and secure futures for all children.