To date, 69 child care centers in Hamilton County have adopted the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Resolution. Twenty-one of these went a step further by making their centers 100% tobacco-free. Not smoking at a child care center may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s more to it. We asked Mary Ellen Kramer, who runs the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Initiative for Hamilton County Public Health, to explain the impact of a tobacco-free pledge.
What does it mean for a center to be 100% tobacco-free?
Ohio law prohibits smoking inside child care centers. Licensing rules do not allow staff to smoke in front of children on the playground or on field trips. Centers that commit to a 100% tobacco-free campus go beyond these smoking bans. In a center that is 100% tobacco-free, smoking or use of tobacco products is not permitted on the center’s property—indoors and outdoors—by staff, parents or visitors. This includes vehicles owned by the center and center-sponsored field trips.
Why is it important for child care centers to be 100% tobacco-free?
Becoming a 100% tobacco-free child care center is important because it protects young lungs from secondhand smoke and exposure to other tobacco products. Young children look up to adults as role models. It makes a difference when they don’t see these adults smoking or using tobacco products.
How do child care centers, staff and parents feel about the 100% tobacco-free policy?
For the most part, child care centers don’t blink an eye when I discuss the tobacco portion of the WeTHRIVE! Wellness Resolution. The centers are not telling people they can’t smoke or use tobacco products. They are just not allowing them to do it while on the center’s property. When parents are educated about the changes, they support the decision the center makes. Usually everyone realizes it is in the best interest of the children.
Click here for more information about WeTHRIVE!’s Child Care Initiative and to see a list of child care centers that have adopted the WeTHRIVE! Child Care Wellness Resolution.
Watch a short video http://youtu.be/HU-H6ydmgXU about how WeTHRIVE! helps schools and communities go 100% tobacco-free.