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About Healthy Spaces

The Canadian Institute of Child Health (CICH), in partnership with the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF), has created this website to increase awareness of children's exposure to potential contaminants in the areas where children grow, learn and play. You will find reliable, up-to-date information that allows you to make informed decisions about how to create safe and healthy spaces for young children.

Why a Healthy Spaces Site?

Children are not “little adults”. They are more vulnerable to toxic exposures, because they are growing and developing. Pound for pound, children breathe, eat and drink more than adults. Their developing systems are more sensitive to external threats, and their immune systems are immature and less able to remove contaminants.

Did you know that in Canada, on average, infants and young children spend over 90% of their time in closed, artificial environments? That means that most of the day small children are either in a vehicle, a house or a child care setting. Our primarily urban culture and our harsh climate lead to extensive indoor child rearing. Vehicles are among the most toxic of enclosed spaces. New homes and child care facilities are often built “airtight” with materials that release substances such as formaldehyde. Carpets are traps for dust, moulds and other toxic substances.

Does this mean parents and caregivers are doing something wrong? Not necessarily, but this interactive website can help Canadians make more informed decisions to better protect children.

Better to err on the side of caution

Healthy Spaces is based on the Precautionary Principle. By empowering parents and caregivers with information, they can respond on the side of caution to create healthy and safe environments for children. A proactive philosophy helps parents and caregivers to create spaces that are truly safe by design.

We invite you to tour our virtual community and learn more about creating healthy spaces for children.


The information contained on this website is for information purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. If you feel you need medical advice, please see your health professional.