Courtesy of Seventh Generation, www.seventhgeneration.com
Did you know that children are far more vulnerable to common household hazards than adults? Pound for pound, kids eat, drink, and breathe much more than adults and so are exposed to proportionately more of any contaminants that our food, beverages, or air may contain. Children also live and play at ground level where many pollutants tend to settle. Because their bodies have yet to fully develop defenses against them, creating a safe, healthy environment for them to grow up in means taking extra precautions.
* Use cleaning products made from natural, nontoxic, plant-derived, biodegradable ingredients and essential oils, which won’t leave behind harmful chemical residues or pollute indoor air.
* Choose natural cosmetic and personal care products, and avoid synthetic scents and perfumes.
* Avoid arts and crafts supplies that give off fumes, like many permanent ink markers, rubber cement, glues, and paints.
* Don’t use pesticides or chemical flea and tick preparations for pets, including flea collars, shampoos, and treatments.
* Be wary of soft, flexible plastic and vinyl toys, and polymer clay products. These often contain toxic chemicals called phthalates, which leach out of things that contain them. Before buying these kinds of items, make sure they’re phthalate-free.
* Let fresh air into your home regularly. A good, healthy air exchange is the best way to rinse out indoor air pollution. When weather permits, let kids sleep with open windows.
* Store food and pack lunches in #1, #2, #4, or #5 plastic containers, which are less likely to leach chemicals. Never use plastic of any kind in a microwave oven, even plastics that claim to be “microwave safe.”