Having a child is often considered to be one of the most joyous moments in a parent’s life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. One common stressor is the risk of your little one coming into contact with harmful toxins. Many new parents, in fact, rate this as the biggest source of concern in the first few years of having a newborn.
Exposure to harmful toxins can happen in many ways. Some toys, even though they are specifically designed for babies, can contain toxins. Equally, a lot of processed foods can contain obscure chemicals and additives.
A recent Forbes article points to research that suggests chemicals in toys and food may be contributing to what scientists are calling the “global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity.”
Limiting exposure to toxins is especially important for babies because they are still developing. As such, their immune systems are less able to fight potentially damaging toxins than a fully grown adult’s. And while you may be able to limit your own exposure to toxins by being careful about the products you use, the fact that children put everything in their mouths means that everything they are close to needs to be safe!
So how do you limit your child’s exposure to harmful toxins? You could, of course, uproot your whole family and move to a pure, beautiful spot in the countryside. Alternatively, you could keep your kid in a hermetically sealed box for the first few months!
For most parents, though, these are not realistic options. Instead, follow these five steps to drastically reduce your child’s exposure to harmful chemicals:
- Create a healthy nursery
- Trust the experts
- Go organic
- Check the label
- Heed your intuition
Let’s take a closer look at each step.
Create a Healthy Nursery
The importance of designing and creating a healthy nursery cannot be overstated. The nursery is the place where your child is going to spend the most time during the first few months and years of their life, so you want to create a space that is as free from harmful toxins as is humanly possible.
Nowadays, thankfully, this can be relatively easy. Our increased awareness of the effects of harmful toxins on children has led to many manufacturers producing nursery products that are free of dangerous and unnecessary chemicals. Everything from the mattress your little one sleeps on to the paint you use to decorate their room is now rigorously tested, and comes with guarantees that it will not expose your child to synthetic chemicals.
Do Your Research
A little research can go a long way when it comes to reducing your child’s exposure to potentially harmful toxins. Even a few minutes spent reading about the products you are planning to buy can afford great peace of mind, because you can be sure that every item your child comes into contact with has been approved by experts.
Medical authority sites like Parenting.com, and reputable review sites such as Kokopax, are good places to start your research. The best review sites rate the products they review by speaking to real parents, so you can be sure that the opinions you are reading can be trusted. Many parents now prioritize limiting their children’s exposure to harmful toxins when considering which products to buy, so most trusted review sites will take this into account.
Of course, harmful toxins do not only reside in the toys, bedding, and paint that your child comes into contact with — they can be in the food they eat, too. Many parents have accordingly decided to go organic to avoid exposing their children to pesticides.
Food manufacturers have caught onto this fashion, and so wherever you are, you should be able to find good-quality organic baby food, even when your child is really small. Look for the mark of your local organic certifying authority, and you can be sure that the food you are buying is free from pesticides and other nasty chemicals.
Check the Label
This might sound obvious, but it is something that is easy to forget in the first few months of having a newborn child. This can be an extremely busy, stressful time for many parents, but taking a few minutes to read the label of the items you buy for your child will make a big difference in their health and in your own peace of mind.
Nowadays, everything from baby formula to mattresses must, by law, say what it is made from. Checking the label is therefore the easiest, most direct way to see if there are any harmful toxins in these items.
Trust Your Gut
Ultimately, trust yourself. Test a few different products, and find the ones that work for you and your child. New parents soon develop an almost supernatural ability to detect chemicals and toxins, becoming almost a part of their children’s immune system!
If a product has an unpleasant chemical smell, or you simply do not trust it for whatever reason, listen to your gut. In the end, nothing can replace your finely-honed instincts as a new parent.
Following these rules can significantly reduce your child’s exposure to harmful toxins. Make sure you create a healthy nursery, use review sites to do your research, consider going organic, and always read the label. Ultimately, though, trust yourself and your instincts.