The role of the environment in pediatric practice in Minnesota: attitudes, beliefs, and practices
Pediatricians can help limit children's exposures to environmental hazards, but few studies have assessed their comfort with discussing and dealing with environmental health issues. We surveyed the membership of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to assess pediatricians' attitudes and beliefs about the effect the environment can have on children's health, and to assess their practices in regard to screening for, diagnosing, and treating illnesses related to environmental exposures. Results showed that Minnesota pediatricians agree that children are suffering from preventable illnesses of environmental origin but feel ill-equipped to educate parents about many common exposures and their consequences. Responses also indicated significant demand for education on the subject and for a referral center that can evaluate patients who may be suffering from environmental exposures.