I started noticing toxins in my life about 8 years ago. I had been eating organic for about 2 years, but I was still cleaning houses as a professional cleaner. I still used normal cleaners. There was a day I was cleaning a client’s shower with bleach, and I got short of breath, and my heart began to race. I finally realized that maybe these cleaners weren’t good for me just like conventional food might not be good for me. That was when I started my journey of finding other places I could reduce toxic chemical exposure in my life.
A few years later, I had children, and I started on a new journey of keeping these little guys safe as well. Here’s a few of my favorite ways to help people reduce the amount of toxins their little ones are exposed to. Toxins aren’t good for adults, but a child’s body is so much smaller that they can have an even more detrimental affect on them.
1 | Check their pajamas for flame retardant
Children’s pajamas are a place we wouldn’t think that harmful chemicals can lurk, but manufacturers cover pajamas in flame retardant all the time. I always look for pajamas that are 100% cotton or wool, and they almost always have a warning label on them that says something to the effect of “this garment is not flame resistant.” I’m much more concerned about the toxin on flame retardant pajamas than I am about the likelihood of their pajamas catching fire. If your child’s pajamas have a tag inside that is a mile long, it’s most likely to tell you that they do indeed have flame retardant on them. Throw them out! It’s not too hard to find 100% cotton pajamas with no chemical treatment on them. It’s worth it for your child’s health! I always look for 100% organic cotton pajamas, and if possible, I get plain unbleached ones. If they have lots of color, it probably means they have lots of dye which most of the time can be toxic.
Price can be an issue, but how I get around this is my children have 1 pair of pajamas for winter and 1-2 pairs for summer. I buy high quality so that I don’t have to buy large quantities. When you make the switch to high quality pajamas, you’ll find they last through several children rather than just for several months. My favorite winter pajamas are these tops and these I’ve bottoms. We’ve had several sets, and each set has lasted through two children and are still in perfect shape for child number three who is coming. I’ve just ordered some pajamas from this company as well for the new baby to give them a try. I love that they are organic cotton that is dye, chemical, and bleach free. They aren’t too expensive either. Anything from Little Spruce Organics for older children would be a safe option for older children.
2 | Reduce the plastic they are exposed to
This might sound like an overwhelming task when you first read it. “Wait, what!? How in the world am I going to get rid of the plastics in my child’s life?” It’s not as hard as you think, and it can be done in many small steps. Start with toys. Are there plastic toys you can get rid of? Or instead of buying more plastic toys looks for metal or wood alternatives. My kids don’t have a lot of toys. They do have some, but I keep it minimal. I want them outside playing, and I also want them to get creative with what they have.
Another place is your kitchen. You can easily replace plastic plates and bowls with these wood ones. Or you could replace plastic water bottles with these stainless steel ones. You don’t have to do it all at once, but when you make new purchases for your child see if there is an alternative to the normal plastic version.
3 | Change their bedding
If you can afford it, purchase them a safe mattress. I wrote a blog on that here. But if that purchase is a bit out of your budget right now, look at replacing their pillows and sheets. Cotton, wool, or feather pillows are great options. Steer clear of polyester.
You can also order 100% organic cotton sheets off Amazon for a pretty good price. I got these in the natural color. I’ve been happy with them, but I’m not 100% sure the dyes this company uses are safe. Even though sheets might be organic cotton, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t used toxic dyes on them so stay away from bright colors with lots of dyes unless the company specifically says it was dyed with plant based or non-toxic dyes. Even then, I’m a little wary unless I know it is a company I can really trust.
4 | Feed them organic
A lot of people don’t switch to organic food, because it feels overwhelming or out of their price range. I’m hoping to post soon about some of my budget friendly tips for eating a 100% organic diet. My husband and I used to eat all organic on $40/week. Now our budget is a bit larger,but still small by average American standards. We feed 2 adults and 2 children a 100% organic diet on about $500 per month. It helps that I make almost everything from scratch and that we don’t eat much meat and dairy. Organic food is a huge key to getting daily toxins out of your child’s life. Even if you can’t make an entire switch now, start with some of the dirty dozen. Also, learn what is in season in your area and try the local farmer’s market. Local farmers are a great place to start for safe food that isn’t nearly as expensive as shopping at large organic stores such as Whole Foods.
5 | Simply the personal products you use on your children
Your skin is your largest organ so by keeping what you put on your children’s skin to a minimum and only using products with safe ingredients, you are automatically cutting out massive amounts of toxins. Fragances in many products are the most cancer causing and toxic ingredients. I go for fragrance free or only products that have 100% essential oils. A great documentary on this is Stink.
My kids have shampoo, conditioner, coconut oil, and homemade toothpaste. That’s all they come in contact with as far as products go. I use coconut oil as moisturizer when they need it. I have a very simple homemade toothpaste recipe here, or you can look up brands on EWG’s Cosmetic Database that are safe. Lots of times you can find safe brands that EWG recommends at Target or even Wal-mart. EWG is also a great place to find safer shampoos and conditioners. I usually buy California Baby Shampoo from Target or Amazon, and I get Aubrey Organics conditioner from our local organic grocery store. For summer sunscreen, I again go off of EWG’s guide and in the past have been able to find safe sunscreen at Target or on Amazon. I usually buy this brand.
Keep Them Safe
Keeping the chemicals out of our children’s lives is key for their life-long health. Not only are you establishing good habits with them now, but you are investing in the health of their small bodies. I’ve said it before, diet is key to healthy bodies, but so is getting toxins and chemicals out of our daily lives. They are in so many more places than we realize. What has become “normal” in the last 100 years is for us to be so surrounded by chemicals that we don’t even notice they are there. Keep moving forward one step at a time. Don’t look at what you haven’t done. Don’t get discouraged at what is still not right. Take one step forward at a time. Pick what changes you’ll make today. Make those. Then tomorrow, pick another thing to change. Day after day, month after month, you’ll start to see drastic differences in your home. You’ll look back after a year and realize how much you’ve been able to change to make your home a safer place for your children.
Post a Comment