Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series

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This is a series of healthy housing trainings that covers the eight healthy housing principles, as well as the basic concepts for working with clients and performing a healthy home assessment. 

The eight healthy home principles include: keep it clean, dry, pest-free, contaminant-free, safe, ventilated, comfortable and maintained.

This educational resource was developed by the Region 7 Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.

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Please note, CEUs are coming soon! The team responsible for the development of this material is working on establishing a CEU opportunity for those who view this series.  When CEUs do become available, that information will be posted on this course webpage.


The videos in this series were supported by cooperative agreement FAIN: NU61TS000296 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided support through Inter-Agency Agreement DW-75-95877701 with CDC/ATSDR. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units as the National Program Office. The findings and conclusions in this presentation have not been formally disseminated by CDC/ATSDR or EPA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. Use of trade names that may be mentioned is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the CDC/ATSDR or EPA.

Syllabus | Healthy Housing and Home Assessment


Module 1 | Introduction and Background

This module provides some background about the connection between health and housing, and discusses some of the important policies and practices to promote healthy housing. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain how our health is connected to the indoor environment of our homes
  • Explain how children and seniors are more vulnerable to poor housing
  • Explain differences between zoning code, building code, and housing code
  • Describe how a house is a system

Module 2 | Healthy Housing Principles- Keep it Clean and Dry

This module covers two of the eight Healthy Housing Principles: keep it clean and keep it dry. Keep it clean discusses making areas in the house cleanable, so they are easier to wipe down, vacuum, remove chemical residues and so forth to reduce exposure to pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain why a clean home is important for the health of occupants
  • List five health issues related to an unclean home
  • Recall strategies for reducing dust and particles in homes
  • Describe simple steps to make a home clean and cleanable
  • List five cleaning techniques that are safe and effective for keeping a healthy home

The second part of this module - keep it dry describes the reasons why it is important to keep a home dry, common sources of moisture in homes, and the long-term health impacts of chronic exposure to moisture, dampness, and microbial agents in homes. It also discusses different systems for managing moisture in homes and the problem with mold with prolonged damp conditions. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Name three main health impacts associated with excess moisture
  • Explain why too much moisture is a problem in the home
  • List five issues in homes that lead to excess moisture and chronic dampness
  • Explain how moisture can enter the home
  • Describe simple steps to control moisture (or keep your home dry) 

Module 3 | Healthy Housing Principles- Keep it Pest-free

This module introduces the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and describes how to reduce and eliminate pests from homes, why it is important to health, how to reduce the amounts of pesticides used, and offers alternatives to using pesticides. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • List three common pests and their health impacts
  • Identify three things to look for that indicate a pest is present in the home
  • Describe simple steps to control pests (or keep a home pest-free)
  • Describe differences between traditional pest control vs IPM

Module 4 | Healthy Housing Principles- Keep it Contaminant-free & Safe

This module covers two of the Healthy Housing Principles: keep it contaminant-free and keep it safe. Keep it contaminant-free discusses some of the common contaminants found in homes, how contaminants enter the home, and the associated health effects for these contaminants. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain why contaminants in homes are a health risk for occupants
  • Describe how different contaminants enter the home environment
  • List up to three common contaminants and their health impacts
  • Describe simple strategies to keep a home contaminant-free

The second part of this module – keep it safe discusses that there is the potential for many types of accidents in homes, but that there are ways to minimize the risk of injury in homes by using different types of safety technology. This part of the module describes the most common injuries that occur in homes, populations most at risk, and strategies to minimize the injuries from these common occurrences. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain the difference between accidents and injuries
  • List three or more causes of preventable home injuries
  • Describe three strategies for making homes safer
  • Locate home safety resources

 Module 5 | Healthy Housing Principles- Keep it Ventilated and Comfortable

This module includes two of the Healthy Housing Principles: keep it ventilated and keep it comfortable. Keep it ventilated will explain what is meant by “good” and “poor” ventilation and the most common health effects associated with poor ventilation. This module also describes simple steps that can be taken to improve indoor air quality in a home. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • List five health impacts of poor ventilation
  • Explain why ventilation is necessary for a healthy home
  • Describe what factors lead to air movement around a home
  • Explain four basic types of mechanical ventilation
  • Describe simple steps to improve ventilation/air quality in a home

The second part of this module – keep it comfortable discusses the three main factors that affect comfort in a home: air temperature, relative humidity, and air flow and movement. An individual’s comfort is also impacted by their metabolism. How we maintain comfort in indoor environments and the potential health effects associated with too much heat or cold is also discussed. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • List five health impacts of uncontrolled heating or cooling
  • Describe what air sealing means
  • Describe the concept of thermal control
  • Explain how uncontrolled heating or cooling can happen in a home 

Module 6 | Healthy Housing Principles- Keep it Maintained

This module discusses the many different parts and systems in homes that need regular maintenance and repair to maintain a healthy environment. There are also often hazards and hazardous substances found in homes that need long-term maintenance, these are also discussed along with the potential health impacts these hazards may pose. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain why regular maintenance is the key to a healthy home
  • Recall five appliances, systems, or areas of a home that require regular maintenance
  • List five (or more) possible health effects that can result from lack of maintenance
  • Describe simple steps (or a checklist) that can be followed to maintain your home

Module 7 | Working with People/Taking an Environmental History

This module discusses the important concepts around working with people and colleting an environmental history from clients and the basic process of performing a healthy home environmental assessment. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • List some of the important information to ask about a client’s home
  • Describe the idea of routes of exposure and name at least two
  • Explain the difference between open-ended and closed-end questions
  • Explain what should be included when collecting an environmental history from a client

Module 8 | Home Environmental Assessment Process

This module discusses the basic concepts of performing an environmental assessment in the homes of clients. An assessment tries to involve as much of the home as possible and to identify as many possible sources of environmental concerns and potential exposure pathways. Upon completion, the learner should be able to:

  • Explain what should be included when collecting an environmental history from a client
  • Describe the idea of routes of exposure and name at least two
  • Explain the difference between open-ended and closed-end questions
  • List some of the important information to ask about a client’s home

Kevin Kennedy, MPH, CIEC

Environmental Health Scientist

Mr. Kennedy has over 30 years’ experience as an environmental health scientist, the last 21 years’ working at Children’s Mercy Kansas City (CMKC). Mr. Kennedy led the establishment of the Environmental Health Program (EHP) and through his and the EH team’s effort, they have assessed thousands of homes and schools, providing patient families, childcares, and schools with resources to assist them in identifying and reducing indoor environmental exposures that may result in health problems for children. Mr. Kennedy is a co-author on more than 30 research publications and over his 20+ years advocating for children’s health he has served on many national and local coalitions and committees advocating for the environment, better housing, climate change action, and understanding the community factors that have led to health disparities.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are coming soon!

The team responsible for the development of this material is working on establishing a CEU opportunity for those who view this series.  When CEUs do become available, that information will be posted here.

Key:

Complete
Failed
Available
Locked
Healthy Housing Principles Pre-Test
12 Questions  |  1 attempt  |  9/12 points to pass
12 Questions  |  1 attempt  |  9/12 points to pass
Module 1: Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 1 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Introduction and Background. This module provides some background about the connection between health and housing, and discusses some of the important policies and practices to promote healthy housing. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Explain how our health is connected to the indoor environment of our homes; 2) Explain how children and seniors are more vulnerable to poor housing; 3) Explain differences between zoning code, building code, and housing code; and 4) Describe how a house is a system.
Module 2: Keep It Clean and Keep It Dry
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 2 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Keep It Clean and Keep It Dry This module covers two of the eight Healthy Housing Principles: keep it clean and keep it dry. Keep it clean discusses making areas in the house cleanable, so they are easier to wipe down, vacuum, remove chemical residues and so forth to reduce exposure to pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Explain why a clean home is important for the health of occupants; 2) List five health issues related to an unclean home; 3) Recall strategies for reducing dust and particles in homes; 4) Describe simple steps to make a home clean and cleanable; and 5) List five cleaning techniques that are safe and effective for keeping a healthy home. The second part of this module - keep it dry describes the reasons why it is important to keep a home dry, common sources of moisture in homes, and the long-term health impacts of chronic exposure to moisture, dampness, and microbial agents in homes. It also discusses different systems for managing moisture in homes and the problem with mold with prolonged damp conditions. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Name three main health impacts associated with excess moisture; 2) Explain why too much moisture is a problem in the home; 3) List five issues in homes that lead to excess moisture and chronic dampness; 4) Explain how moisture can enter the home; and 5) Describe simple steps to control moisture (or keep your home dry).
Module 3: Keep It Pest-Free
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 3 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Keep It Pest-Free This module introduces the practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and describes how to reduce and eliminate pests from homes, why it is important to health, how to reduce the amounts of pesticides used, and offers alternatives to using pesticides. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) List three common pests and their health impacts; 2) Identify three things to look for that indicate a pest is present in the home; 3) Describe simple steps to control pests (or keep a home pest-free); and 4) Describe differences between traditional pest control vs IPM.
Module 4: Keep It Contaminant-Free and Safe
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 4 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Keep It Contaminant-Free and Safe This module covers two of the Healthy Housing Principles: keep it contaminant-free and keep it safe. Keep it contaminant-free discusses some of the common contaminants found in homes, how contaminants enter the home, and the associated health effects for these contaminants. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Explain why contaminants in homes are a health risk for occupants; 2) Describe how different contaminants enter the home environment; 3) List up to three common contaminants and their health impacts; and 4) Describe simple strategies to keep a home contaminant-free. The second part of this module – keep it safe discusses that there is the potential for many types of accidents in homes, but that there are ways to minimize the risk of injury in homes by using different types of safety technology. This part of the module describes the most common injuries that occur in homes, populations most at risk, and strategies to minimize the injuries from these common occurrences. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Explain the difference between accidents and injuries; 2) List three or more causes of preventable home injuries; 3) Describe three strategies for making homes safer; and 4) Locate home safety resources.
Module 5: Keep It Ventilated and Comfortable
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 5 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Keep It Ventilated and Comfortable This module includes two of the Healthy Housing Principles: keep it ventilated and keep it comfortable. Keep it ventilated will explain what is meant by “good” and “poor” ventilation and the most common health effects associated with poor ventilation. This module also describes simple steps that can be taken to improve indoor air quality in a home. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) List five health impacts of poor ventilation; 2) Explain why ventilation is necessary for a healthy home; 3) Describe what factors lead to air movement around a home; 4) Explain four basic types of mechanical ventilation; and 5) Describe simple steps to improve ventilation/air quality in a home. The second part of this module – keep it comfortable discusses the three main factors that affect comfort in a home: air temperature, relative humidity, and air flow and movement. An individual’s comfort is also impacted by their metabolism. How we maintain comfort in indoor environments and the potential health effects associated with too much heat or cold is also discussed. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) List five health impacts of uncontrolled heating or cooling; 2) Describe what air sealing means; 3) Describe the concept of thermal control; and 4) Explain how uncontrolled heating or cooling can happen in a home.
Module 6: Keep It Maintained
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 6 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Keep It Maintained This module discusses the many different parts and systems in homes that need regular maintenance and repair to maintain a healthy environment. There are also often hazards and hazardous substances found in homes that need long-term maintenance, these are also discussed along with the potential health impacts these hazards may pose. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Explain why regular maintenance is the key to a healthy home; 2) Recall five appliances, systems, or areas of a home that require regular maintenance; 3) List five (or more) possible health effects that can result from lack of maintenance; and 4) Describe simple steps (or a checklist) that can be followed to maintain your home.
Module 7: Working with People
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 7 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Working with People This module discusses the important concepts around working with people and collecting an environmental history from clients and the basic process of performing a healthy home environmental assessment. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) List some of the important information to ask about a client’s home; 2) Describe the idea of routes of exposure and name at least two; 3) Explain the difference between open-ended and closed-end questions; and 4) Explain what should be included when collecting an environmental history from a client.
Module 8: Home Assessment Overview
Begin self-paced component package.
Begin self-paced component package. Module 8 of the PEHSU Healthy Housing and Home Assessment Principles Education Series: Home Assessment Overview This module discusses the basic concepts of performing an environmental assessment in the homes of clients. An assessment tries to involve as much of the home as possible and to identify as many possible sources of environmental concerns and potential exposure pathways. Upon completion, the learner should be able to: 1) Explain what should be included when collecting an environmental history from a client; 2) Describe the idea of routes of exposure and name at least two; 3) Explain the difference between open-ended and closed-end questions; and 4) List some of the important information to ask about a client’s home.
Course Feedback Survey
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Please use the following link to complete the Course Feedback Survey.
Certificate of Completion
No credits available  |  Certificate available
No credits available  |  Certificate available PEHSU Healthy Housing Principles Series Certificate of Completion
Healthy Housing Principles Post-Test
12 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  9/12 points to pass
12 Questions  |  2 attempts  |  9/12 points to pass