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Keeping Your Kids Toxin-Free

It can be tough with tons of pesticides polluting the air.

Toxic chemicals are invading our collective and personal environments and are having a deleterious affect on the health of American families. Cancer-causing toxic chemicals are directly responsible for four percent of all cancer deaths and numerous other diseases affecting Americans.

Americans in the 1960s were surrounded by 400 million pounds of pesticides. Sound like a lot? Well, Americans are now surrounded by over 4.5 billion pounds of pesticides. 

“Researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 [out of 413] industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals” in chord blood of newborns, according to a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group. Out of those compounds, “180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause developmental problems.” 

Guidelines to protect kids from these harmful chemicals 

Air pollution inside American houses is generally much worse than outside the house. So be careful what you allow in the house. 

  • Take your shoes off when you enter the house. No need to bring in a day's worth of toxins and trash from the bottom of your shoe, up to your bedroom. Speaking of which…
  • Don’t replace the carpet, rip it out. Carpets are basically filters that never get fully cleaned, trapping any and everything they come in contact with. Consider bamboo, recycled wood floors, hardwood, or tile. Stay away from the fake woods.
  • The best way to get a whiff of mountain pine or fresh air is to go outside. Get rid of the candles, detergents, soaps, dryer sheets, and “fresheners” that come scented. These products contain chemicals that can be toxic to your house and family.
  • Ask the smoker to stay outside, permanently. We are all aware of first and secondhand smoke, but thirdhand smoke? Yep, it's what comes off clothes and objects that were exposed to first and secondhand smoke. This is especially harmful to the little lungs running around your house.
  • Keep the dry cleaned clothes outside for 48 hours to keep toxic chemicals from mixing with your indoor air.
  • Consider using non-toxic cleaning supplies. Vinegar, baking soda and steam kill bacteria too. No need to turn your house into a sterile hospital room.

Your Body is a Temple, Keep it Sacred

The skin is the largest organ in your body, and blood vessels in skin can carry chemicals from the surface to the blood stream and the rest of the body. This is why medications like hormone lotions are prescribed by doctors. As parents, it is important to be mindful of the toxins going into your child's body from the skin.

Marketers and manufacturers are trying to sell you their product, not keep you healthy. Be very careful what goes on your family’s skin.

Tips For Parents

  • Keep toxins off your children’s skin. The most obvious are sunscreen and lotions, but don’t forget about dryer sheets, soaps, shampoo, and detergents. All of these are known to contain toxins. Click here to find out which lotions and sunscreens are toxic.
  • Is your make up toxic? Probably. Consider toxin free make up. 
  • Use cast iron or stainless steel to cook your foods on. If it's nonstick it should not be in your house. 
  • Avoid processed foods. Many of these have food colorings or flavorings that can add to your child’s toxicity. “Natural Flavors Added” does not mean healthy. Fruit juices should not have multiple ingredients. 
  • Fish don’t grow on farms. Farm-raised fish often contain a petroleum based food coloring that has been shown to cause cancer in animals.
  • Switch your plastic Tupperware for glassware. Plastics are constantly adding chemicals to any food that touches it. 
  • Consider using a toaster oven or heat your food on a stove. No need to radiate your food with a microwave.
  • It is crucial to drink plenty of water per day, exercise and sweat, have a bowel movement and urinate daily. This helps your body detoxify and cleanse.

Keep a Sacred Mind 

As parents, we can shape our children’s experiences. Excessive negativity, guilt, shame and unreasonable expectations can toxify your children’s body through the release of stress hormones that slowly break down body systems. Emotional toxicity leads to physiologic toxicity. 

Helpful Hints

  • Be positive and supportive to your children.
  • Encourage exercise and physical activity.
  • Encourage prayer or meditation.
  • Create and environment where children are free to express curiosities and creativities.

Detoxing our lives is not quick or easy. It takes time and research. Fortunately, there are many experts who can help you "go green." Start slow. Go through the list and figure out which things are easy to change and which are going to take some time. Then get help from a professional.

Remember: Our children do what we do, not what we say. If we are not making changes in our lives, our children won’t either.

 


Dave Webster July 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Dr. Ogilvie, are you licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia? A check of the Virginia Board of Medicine didn't list your name as an M.D.
Lisa Harris July 21, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Thank you for opening people's eyes. Our family has woken up to the problems that food coloring, processed food, BPA lined cans, cleansers and so on can cause. We keep our house clean with the help of vinegar and baking soda. I have stopped worrying about the big picture and have concentrated on what I can do. There are so many changes that need to be made, it can only start with you.

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