Are you interested in greening your family or concerned about toxins and health risks? There are many companies and individuals that are using fear to promote their ‘environmentally friendly’ products.
Here are the absolute 'must knows' about protecting you and your family from harmful contaminants and they are surprisingly simple and inexpensive.
We often focus on things that are low-risk for children like microwave oven radiation, when there are simple things we can do that will better protect our children’s health such as not using plastic in the microwave and keep children from mouthing electronics. Microwave ovens that are operating properly give off minute amounts of radiation that are far below acceptable levels. This exposure is dramatically reduced as you move away from the microwave. So if children are more than 2 feet from the microwave and it is used properly then the risk is insignificant.
The Canadian Partnership for Children’s health and Environment is an independent and reliable resource for parents and caregivers. They have identified 5 simple steps to keep your child safe.
We can’t protect our children from everything but we can reduce their exposure. According to this organization here is where you will get the best results for your efforts:
Bust the Dust
House dust can be a source of toxic substances that come off of consumer good or are tracked in from outside.
Vacuum or wet-mop 1-2 times a week, take your shoes off at the door and use washable entrance mats, store toys in containers with lids if possible. Avoid letting your child play with or mouth your electronics and cell phone.
Go Green when you clean
Use regular soap (not antibacterial), non-toxic and unscented cleaning and laundry products (vinegar and baking soda recommended), avoid air fresheners, traditional dry cleaning and scented products
If you have a cleaner who is not willing to switch to natural cleaning products, leaving the home during the cleaning and airing it out can significantly reduce exposure.
Here is a cleaner that I have been using for years on just about everything. It lifts dirt, cuts grease, deodorizes and kills germs*
2 cups vinegar
1-2 capfuls Natural orange oil cleaner (available in health food stores)
3-10 drops tea tree oil or other essential oil (optional)
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Before use shake bottle and spray on surfaces. For best results let it sit for 2-3 minutes and watch the dirt wipe away.
*Regular household vinegar alone is known to kill 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold and 80% germs. If you want a stronger cleaner, use a higher strength vinegar. Add tea tree oil to add more power to kill bacteria, fungus and viruses.
Put all ingredients in a squirt bottle and shake well. Good all purpose cleaner and disinfects naturally. Shake, squirt, let sit a few seconds and wipe. Great for counters, tables, walls, spills etc. Be sure to rinse very well if your child will be mouthing the object.
If you are pregnant or have a child and are planning to do some painting or renovating, I suggest you checkout the information on the site: http://www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/content/renovate-right
Get drastic with plastic
The first thing I want to emphasis here is to please avoid boiling water for your child (and you) in a plastic kettle! Also avoid using plastic containers and plastic wrap in the microwave. When plastic is heated harmful chemicals can be released into food and drink.
Store foods in glass or ceramic if possible, heat milk in non-plastic containers and transfer to bottles, try to eat fresh or frozen foods, avoid teething toys purchased before 2011 and products that contain PVC or vinyl plastics.
Here is a great teething product that we have found:
Silicone teething beads and nursing necklaces made of silicone. If you get a chance, be sure to touch them. They feel really neat. Check them out at www.mamabeadscanada.com
Eat Safer Fish
Choose fish that are low in mercury such as: Atlantic mackerel, herring, rainbow trout, wild or canned salmon and tilapia. If you eat tuna look for ‘light” and limit quantities.
I hope I didn’t stress you out with this. Believe me my kids have had their exposure to toxins. I once caught my son sucking on lead-filled blinds. Amazingly they all survived. We can only do what we can do as parents. I hope you find in these tips simple and easy things that you can focus on that can positively impact your families health.
This video is a great 13 minute tutorial on the things we should be concerned about. Well worth it!
For more information: http://www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/collections/creating-healthy-home-environments-kids-top-5-tips
Article by: Andrea Strang