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Healthy environments for children in Greater Cincinnati

Aug 27, 2018

Download the report here and the data tables here.

Children are more likely to thrive if they live in a healthy, safe environment. Exposure to unsafe physical conditions and environmental toxins in a home can lead to issues with child health, growth and behavior.1

The 2017 Child Well-Being Survey (CWBS) asked several questions about the environments that children in our region experience every day. This included questions about the condition of regional housing and about exposure to tobacco smoke in the home.

9 in 10 parents rate neighborhood housing, their own home highly

CWBS asked parents and guardians to rate the condition of houses and apartments in their neighborhood. More than 9 in 10 rated the condition of houses and apartments in their neighborhood excellent, very good or good (94%).

Responses varied by location. In the City of Cincinnati, fewer than 8 in 10 parents and guardians rated the homes and apartments in their neighborhood as excellent, very good or good (77%). In other areas, more than 9 in 10 parents or guardians rated homes in their neighborhood as excellent, very good or good.

CWBS also asked parents and guardians to rate the condition of their own home. Nearly all (97%) rated their own home as excellent, very good or good. Again, responses varied by location. Parents in the City of Cincinnati were less likely to rate their own home this highly (88%). In other areas, more than 9 in 10 parents and guardians rated their own home as excellent, very good or good.

9 in 10 parents don't allow smoking in home; varies by income

Secondhand tobacco smoke is another environmental toxin that can have a significant negative impact on children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma attacks, ear infections and other lung diseases.2

CWBS asked parents and guardians in the region if they allowed people to smoke in their home. Fewer than 1 in 10 parents and guardians said they allow people to smoke in their home (7%). Responses varied by income.

Two in 10 parents earning 100% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)3 allow people to smoke in their home (20%). One in 10 parents earning between 100% and 200% FPG allow smoking in their home. Only 4% of parents earning more than 200% FPG allow smoking in their home.

Why we ask these questions

In general, parents and guardians in our region give positive responses to these questions. However, children in certain subgroups or who live in certain areas are more likely to be exposed to environmental hazards that could affect their health. By identifying these groups, we can design interventions so that all children in our region can thrive in a healthy, safe environment.


1 MacArthur Foundation. (2016). The Effects of Housing and Neighborhood Chaos on Children. Chicago, IL: Author. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2kRrdWo.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Secondhand Smoke and Children. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/ toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/ SecondhandSmokeChildren.html.

3 In 2016, 100% FPG was $24,250 for a family of four; 200% FPG was $48,500 for a family of four.

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