Note from blog owner: Since I’ll be having a newborn a couple of months from now, I’m featuring here an article from a guest contributor, Derek Lotts, an Advisory Editor of SmoothDecorator.com, on how to make sure that our place becomes an ideal abode for our newborn infants. I still don’t know where to categorize this (I’m temporarily posting this under Green Living and Home Organization) because this is something new here, but I’m sure I’ll be writing personally about my experiences as a first time mom very, very soon. – EOD
A clean home should be a priority, not an option. There are various pests and dangers lurking in the dark corners of your home, so do your best, invest a little time and money and secure a healthy environment and a bright future for your children.
Even though it sounds silly, heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and aluminum can be found in everyday households and pose a serious threat to the children. These can be found in drinking water, pesticides, some seafood, vaccines, antiperspirants and lead paints. In order to make sure that your children are safe, use cold water for drinking, cooking and making tea, install water filters, avoid eating fish that is high in mercury, avoid using products such as Teflon cookware or Scotchgard and avoid using treated wood for desks and children’s playrooms.
Mold and Fungal Toxins
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Mold can be extremely harmful for the health of your family. There are many people who are allergic to mold, and some people develop it later in life. Additionally, exposure could lead to suppression of the immune system and cancer. Since mold occurs mostly in damp areas where the temperature changes frequently, you should keep the humidity in your home below 60%, keep the filters of the AC clean and make sure that any newspapers, cardboard and books are kept in dry areas.
Dust mites are small scavengers in our beds that can cause so much trouble, especially when it comes to newborns. There are numerous cases with children developing allergies to dust mites, which results in heavy breathing and trouble sleeping. Additionally, house dust mites can possibly trigger development of childhood eczema. In order to protect your newborn, you have to make sure the bed is completely dust mite-free. To do that, you can replace the old one, find new non-toxic mattresses online, wash the bedding on 60 degrees, air the bed daily and keep the baby room completely dust-free.
It’s not only chemicals and toxins can harm your child. The food has its hidden dangers that can pose a threat as well. Firstly, you want to minimize the consumption of sugars, such as refined sugar, molasses, syrups and brown sugar which can contribute to tooth decay. Also, substitutes such as aspartame and sucralose are found in many processed foods and have no nutritional value whatsoever. Make sure to give only natural sugars found in fruits and veggies to your children. Besides fruits and veggies, your child should eat plenty of grains, dairy products and meat and its substitutes.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
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Polyvinyl chloride contains phthalates (industrial compounds known as dialkyl or alkyl aryl esters) which are primarily used to increase the lifespan of fragrances and to soften plastics. However, even though it is useful, it poses a great danger for our health. It can damage the endocrine system because these chemicals mimic hormones, and it’s extremely dangerous for children. PVCs can be found in plastic wrap, bottles, food storage containers which can let the phthalates into the food. So, when buying plastic products for the home, ask if they contain PVC or phthalates. Also, never microwave or eat the food that is in a PVC container, find PVC-free drapes and shades, use natural fibers instead and always check the labels on baby products and protect your newborn.
Like being a mother is not tough enough, the house has to make its own troubles. Be on the lookout for these toxins and allergens, and secure a healthy environment and home for your children of all ages.