When we’re considering the health of our children, we have to look beyond diet and exercise. We have to consider the products they are exposed to. Many products today are manufactured using chemicals we wouldn’t expose ourselves to and certainly not our children. Some chemicals and toxins can have life-changing effects on a baby’s development. When you’re purchasing products for your home, especially if they are for your children, make sure none of them contain these chemicals:
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and skin irritant that can cause reactions similar to allergies (watery, burning eyes, sore throats, skin rashes, etc.). It can also cause respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and fatigue. It’s often found in several household products, such as pressed wood, furniture, heavy cloth (like drapes), and in glues, cleaning and beauty products, and baby wipes. Avoid items that contain formaldehyde.
Flame retardants are often used in furniture, such as couches, sofas, mattresses, pillows, and carpeting. These chemicals are not bonded to the material well, so they are released into the air over time, especially in foam products. Exposure at certain points during a person’s development (early in life) can damage the reproductive system, impair motor skills, learning, and memory. Do not let babies put items with flame retardants in their mouths and replace old, torn furniture and fabrics.
Lead was a common substance used in paint during the 70s. Its use was banned, but many rooms and homes all over the country still have it. If your home is older or hasn’t been repainted in a long time, have your paint tested for lead. Lead can cause very serious nervous system damage, stunt one’s growth, cause kidney damage, and delay one’s development. If you find your walls contain lead, have it professional removed and repainted.
Pesticides are potentially carcinogenic and linked to leukemia and lymphoma. Pesticides are sprayed on crops and lawns to kill insects and protect plant life, but they can be present when you buy produce at the store or they can seep into the groundwater supply. Because babies and children eat and drink more in relation to their body weight, they have an increased exposure to pesticides. Don’t let your children play in pesticide-treated areas, buy organic vegetables and fruits, and always wash, brush, or peel your food before eating.
Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates
BPA and phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt your body’s natural hormonal system. They can affect growth, development, behaviors and attitude. BPA and phthalates can be found in flexible plastics, like the lining of food and beverage containers, raincoats, shower curtains, blow-up toys and even receipt paper (have you ever noticed it’s a bit waxy?), soaps, and lotions. Do not microwave food in plastic because the process can release the BPA into the food. Avoid buying children’s products unless they say “BPA-free.”
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Written by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk
As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.
She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.
She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.
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