Special Issue "The Environment and Children’s Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jason Gilliland
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, Department of Geography, Western University, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
Interests: children’s health; children’s geographies; built environment; social environment; nature; health behaviours; mental health; well-being
Dr. Gina Martin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, Department of Geography, Western University, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
Interests: children and adolescents; children’s geographies; neighbourhoods; built environment; social environment; nature; health behaviours and outcomes; mental well-being; substance use

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The environments where children live, play, and learn have key roles in their behaviour, well-being, and development. Both physical and social environments have been found to influence many childhood health outcomes, such as physical activity, diet, mental well-being, cognitive performance, and sleep. The physical environment includes built or natural features, while the social environment includes elements such as social cohesion and residential segregation. Children’s environmental exposures occur at various geographic scales (i.e, from micro to macro), such as homes, schools, streets, parks, neighborhoods, and regions. Understanding how the various environments that children are exposed to affect their health and well-being has gained considerable attention in public health research. Accordingly, the aim of this Special Issue is to highlight the broad scope of novel and contemporary research focused on the environment and children’s health.

This Special Issue of IJERPH, entitled “The Environment and Children’s Health” offers an opportunity to publish high-quality research, reviews, and theoretical notes that further the understanding of the role that the environment plays in children’s health and well-being. We welcome quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research. Submissions that discuss new knowledge, developments, and innovations in the field of environmental determinants of children’s health are particularly encouraged.

We invite you to submit articles on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Evaluation of environmental interventions and/or natural experiments, and their impact on children’s health;
  • Environmental factors associated with children’s health behaviours or outcomes;
  • Innovations in the measurement of environments that children are exposed to;
  • Elements of school and schoolyard design that impact social and cognitive development;
  • Stakeholder perspectives related to the environments that impact children’s health;
  • Children’s views and perspectives of their environments;
  • Child-friendly cities and child well-being.

Dr. Jason Gilliland
Dr. Gina Martin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • natural environment
  • built environment
  • social environment
  • child
  • adolescent
  • youth
  • health
  • well-being
  • children’s geographies
  • health geography

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Are Environmental Interventions Targeting Skin Cancer Prevention among Children and Adolescents Effective? A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020529 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
Skin cancer, which is increasing exceedingly worldwide, is substantially preventable by reducing unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Several comprehensive interventions targeting sun protection behaviors among children and adolescents in various outdoor settings have been developed; however, there is a lack of insight [...] Read more.
Skin cancer, which is increasing exceedingly worldwide, is substantially preventable by reducing unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Several comprehensive interventions targeting sun protection behaviors among children and adolescents in various outdoor settings have been developed; however, there is a lack of insight on stand-alone effectiveness of environmental elements. To compose future skin cancer prevention interventions optimally, identification of effective environmental components is necessary. Hence, an extensive systematic literature search was conducted, using four scientific databases and one academic search engine. Seven relevant studies were evaluated based on stand-alone effects of various types of environmental sun safety interventions on socio-cognitive determinants, sun protection behaviors, UVR exposure, and incidence of sunburns and nevi. Free provision of sunscreen was most often the environmental component of interest, however showing inconsistent results in terms of effectiveness. Evidence regarding shade provision on shade-seeking behavior was most apparent. Even though more research is necessary to consolidate the findings, this review accentuates the promising role of environmental components in skin cancer prevention interventions and provides directions for future multi-component sun safety interventions targeted at children and adolescents in various outdoor settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment and Children’s Health)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Particulate Matter Exposure and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children: A Systematic Review of Epidemiological Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010067 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common cognitive and behavioural disorder affecting children, with a worldwide-pooled prevalence of around 5%. Exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution is suspected to be associated with autism spectrum disorders and recent studies have investigated the relationship [...] Read more.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common cognitive and behavioural disorder affecting children, with a worldwide-pooled prevalence of around 5%. Exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution is suspected to be associated with autism spectrum disorders and recent studies have investigated the relationship between PM exposure and ADHD. In the absence of any synthesis of the relevant literature on this topic, this systematic review of epidemiological studies aimed to investigate the relationship between the exposure of children to PM and ADHD and identify gaps in our current knowledge. In December 2018, we searched the PubMed and EMBASE databases. We only included epidemiological studies carried out on children without any age limit, measuring PM exposure and health outcomes related to ADHD. We assessed the quality of the articles and the risk of bias for each included article using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale and the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) approach, respectively. The keyword search yielded 774 results. Twelve studies with a total number of 181,144 children met our inclusion criteria, of which 10 were prospective cohort studies and 2 were cross-sectional studies. We subsequently classified the selected articles as high or good quality studies. A total of 9 out of the 12 studies reported a positive association between PM exposure to outdoor air pollution and behavioral problems related to attention. Despite these results, we found a significant degree of heterogeneity among the study designs. Furthermore, 11 studies were judged to be at a probably high risk of bias in the exposure assessment. In conclusion, we opine that further high quality studies are still needed in order to clarify the association between PM exposure and ADHD diagnosis Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment and Children’s Health)
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