Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Designing healthy communities for children

Earlier this summer, Dr. Richard Jackson spoke at Seattle Children's Hospital about "Designing Healthy Communities for Children".  Many examples of the connection between health and the physical design of communities were discussed.

Though Dr. Jackson mostly spoke about health problems related to obesity, his presentation can be used when thinking about preventing youth substance abuse.  What can we do in our community to support healthy choices when it comes to teen drug use?  Are there a lot of stores selling alcohol, tobacco, and soon marijuana?  How about advertising?  Are youth exposed to ads for these substances?  Are there easy to access pro-social activities for youth?

He noted that we are all living in environments imagined by the people from previous generations.  He stressed that is is important for us to imagine healthy environments for future generations and work together to turn that imagination into reality.

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