Quantified activity patterns for young children in beach environments relevant for exposure to contaminants

Alesia Ferguson, Ashok Dwivedi, Foluke Adelabu, Esther Ehindero, Mehdi Lamssali, Emmanuel Obeng-Gyasi, Kristina Mena, Helena Solo-Gabriele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a study to evaluate beach play activities, 120 children were videotaped to observe and quantify factors that could influence their exposure to contaminants in the beach environment. Children aged 1 to 6 years were followed by researchers with video cameras at beaches (two in Miami, Florida and two in Galveston, Texas) for approximately one hour each. Factors evaluated included time spent in various beach locations, various activities engaged in, and various surfaces contacted (including contacts by hand and mouth). Activities recorded in the videos were transcribed to text files to allow for quantitative analyses. Across all sexes, age groups, and beaches, Wading was the most common activity and Seawater was the most common location where children played. The left hand was found to not be in contact with objects most of the time, while the right hand, considered the most dominant hand in most cases, contacted Plastic-Toys the most. Although activity patterns collection through videotaping and videotranslation can be labor-intensive, once collected, they can be widely useful for estimates of exposures to all contaminants in the beach environment (e.g., microorganisms and chemicals) as well as UV exposure, with considerations for whether the contaminants are found in water, sand or both. These activity patterns were collected to potentially look at exposures following the Deepwater Horizon 2010 Spill.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3274
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2 2021


  • Children’s exposure activities
  • Micro activity patterns
  • Micro-level time series
  • Videotaping
  • Videotranslation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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