As new or expecting parents, your first step is to begin thinking about keeping the newest member of your household safe and healthy. A child’s nursery is his or her safe haven. It is the one place that you, as parents, can protect them from environmental toxins that are harmful to your child’s health. These toxins and harmful chemicals can be absorbed through your child’s skin from contact with furniture, fibers of clothing, paint and even toys.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your newborn’s health. That’s why we created some tips to help you create a toxin-free and safe environment for your child at home.
Read the Label
Many people love the “new paint smell” but truthfully the use of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint has proven damaging consequences to our health. Many paint companies are now creating low and no-VOC paints and products to be more mindful of the long-term effects. Older homes may still contain lead in the layers of paint, as well as the windows, sills, doors and frames. Here is a guide with advice on lead removal from your home.
It is important to consider the type of paints on the family heirlooms and antique pieces that are placed in your nursery. Not only do you want lead-free paint, but also quality wood pieces. Pressed wood and cheaper fabrics can contain adhesives and formaldehyde. Quality does count.
There are over 80,000 chemicals that are unregulated in our environment, many in the cleaning products we use on a daily basis. Search for healthy green options in the store, or go really green and make your own cleaning products with simple home ingredients. To get a toxicity rating on your current cleaning products, go to www.ewg.org.
Tuck Them in for a Green Night’s Sleep
Some fire-retardants in mattresses have been linked to brain development problems. Also, to avoid dust mites and other potential allergens, shop for a green, organic mattress and bedding for your baby. Look for all-cotton, and find a mattress company with an eco-friendly production process. Some of them are listed here.
What do you do with all of those sweet clothes that baby outgrows in a week? Many you will give away but some are so special you cannot part with them. One great way to save them, and still up-cycle them for a new purpose, is to have them made into a memory blanket or quilt. Find a seamstress in your local area that can handle the task, and the blanket will be cherished for years to come, and a great accent piece for your child’s room.
Reusable Diapers: Solving Your Diaper Dilemma
Diapers have been proven to emit harmful chemicals like dioxin, as well as xylene and ethyl benzene, chemicals that are suspected endocrine, neurological and respiratory toxins. Styrene was also found, a chemical linked to cancer and isopropylene, a neurotoxin. Disposable Diapers usually contain plastics, adhesives, glues and lubricants, which can cause harmful reactions. Choose all-cotton, cloth diapers, if possible, or a healthier eco-friendly brand. New eco-friendly companies are finally more transparent and revealing the ingredients on the label.
In 2007, Fisher-Price had a recall of 967,000 toys due to potential lead poisoning hazard. News like this reminds us that we must know the source of the toys we purchase for our children. Avoid plastic if at all possible. They are known to leech harmful chemicals into the environment. Be especially cognizant of the items your babies chew on. Look into bamboo and quality wood toys from trusted brands.
We encourage you to use these tips for your baby’s nursery as a starting point to help reduce his or her exposure to toxic chemicals and provide a greener, healthier life for your little one! Have additional recommendations you’d like to share? Post your ideas to create a green environment for their nursery in the comments below.
This article is brought to you by A Healthy Home Company.