Monday, June 6, 2011

Weslaco to host Children's Environmental Health Workshops June 23-24

Two Children’s Environmental Health Workshops will be held at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco during the fourth week of June, according to the event’s coordinator.

The center, located at 2415 E. Highway 83, will host an Environmental and Children’s Health Training from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on June 23, then a School IPM Coordinator Training from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.on June 24.

Janet Hurley, Texas AgriLife Extension Service school integrated pest management program specialist and coordinator for the training's, said the events are open to anyone with an interest in children’s health, particularly school nurses, health inspectors, childcare directors, public health educators, teachers, and hospital, nursing home and school administrators.

“The June 24 class will be more specific to school integrated pest management coordinators, pest management professionals and anyone needing to be certified as a school integrated pest management coordinator,” she said.

Hurley said all Texas public school districts must have an integrated pest management policy and plan, and every school district must appoint and train an integrated pest management coordinator to oversee all pesticide and pest control operations.

“Children deserve a safe place to learn and grow,” Hurley said, “and pest control is an important but often overlooked aspect of school safety. In addition to pest hazards such as cockroaches, mice and weeds, improperly used control products can also pose a hazard to child safety. Problems related to pests and pest management can cause both children and adults to have asthma and allergy attacks.”

She said while children’s health is an important issue, finding quality information can be confusing.

“The Environmental and Children’s Health Training will provide objective, research-based information from experts at AgriLife Extension, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas A&M Kingsville and the Texas A&M Health Science Center,” Hurley noted. “This daylong training is designed to assist school, hospital and nursing home administrators who face many tough decisions each day when it comes to patient and student health.”

Topics addressed at this training will include: the top 10 mistakes in a health inspection, transmission of disease by animals and insects, asthma triggers in homes and schools, pesticide safety and regulations and adopting integrated pest management.

“The Environmental and Children’s Health Training presentations by AgriLife Extension and other experts can help make facilities a safer place for people to live, work, learn and play,” she said.

Hurley said the cost for the Environmental and Children’s Health Training is

$35 for early registration and $45 for late or at-the-door registration. For more information and online registration, go to the Texas AgriLife Extension Conference Services website at and enter the word “environmental” into the keyword search.

“If you’re a new integrated pest management coordinator and haven’t yet taken the six-hour mandatory training, then the June 24 School IPM Coordinator Training is for you,” Hurley added.

She said the training fulfills state requirements for integrated pest management coordinators under the Texas Administrative Code as it relates to school integrated pest management.

“Whether this is your first time or you need six hours to cover your IPM coordinator requirements, this day’s training will help make your school district's pest management program something to be proud of,” Hurley said.

The training addresses legal requirements for schools, an introduction to integrated pest management and how to monitor schools per the state’s administrative code requirements.

“The training is open to anyone interested in learning more about IPM, so interested individuals are welcome to share information about them with their pest control contractor or other school employees as well.”

The cost for the School IPM Coordinator Training is $135 for early registration and $155 for late or at-the-door registration. For more information and to register online, go to enter “IPM” into the keyword search. For registration and payment questions regarding this training, call 979-845-2604.

For more information about school integrated pest management, go to or call toll-free, 877-747-6872.

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