Home Safety for Kidsâ€¦Todayâ€™s World
Home Safety for Kidsâ€¦Todayâ€™s World
Today itâ€™s a very different world than it was 50 years ago.We have come a long way since then with the elimination of traditional infectious diseases, infant mortality is greatly reduced, and babies born in the U.S. today are expected to live more than 20 years longer than those born in the early 1900s.
But on the down side, kids today face a whole new set of health dangers. They are continually in contact with thousands of new synthetic chemicals.
Since World War II at least 80,000 chemical compounds have been invented and put into the environment. Only a fraction of these have been tested for their toxic effects in people. Studies of toxic effects in children are even fewer.
Safety in the Homeâ€¦Chronic Diseases
Toxic chemicals can be found in our soil, water, air and in our bodies. This exposure has seriously affected humans and wildlife throughout the world.
Results of studies on toxins in our homes, in schools, the air we breathe and the products we use daily, have associated these toxins as causes of disease.
While the old infectious diseases like polio and smallpox are now gone for the most part, theyâ€™ve been replaced by chronic diseases such as: asthma , learning disabilities, allergies, obesity, autism, type II diabetes and leukemia.
â€œAsthma rates have more than doubled in the past three decades. Asthma is now the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and school absenteeism.
One of every six American children has a developmental disorder such as ADHD, dyslexia, and mental retardation.
One in every 150 American children is now diagnosed with autism.
Primary brain cancer increased by nearly 40% and leukemia increased by over 60% among children 14 years and younger from 1975 to 2004
Childhood obesity has quadrupled in the past ten years.
Type 2 diabetes, previously unknown among children, is becoming epidemic.â€ -Mt. Sinai Childrenâ€™s Environmental Health Center
Safety in the Homeâ€¦Toxins in Your Home
When babies are growing they put everything into their mouths. So when they crawl and play on the floor (which could be full of toxins) â€“ they are much more at risk to the harmful effects of chemical pollutants than adults.
Chemicals play a major role in our every day lives. They are part of what we eat, where we work, and how we live.
In spite of their prevalence in our lives, many chemicals are hazardous, or toxic.
Toxic chemicals can be found in our soil, water, air, and bodies. This contamination has seriously affected the health of humans and wildlife everywhere.
Our buildings â€“ including schools, residential areas, and places of work, can all be sites of hazardous chemical contamination.
So, many toxic chemicals can be found right in your home!
Household products such as detergents, floor and furniture polish, paints, and various cleaning products for glass, wood, metal, ovens, toilets, and drains may contain hazardous chemicals.
They include ammonia, sulfuric and phosphoric acids, lye, chlorine, formaldehyde, and phenol.
Air fresheners can also contain chemicals that are harmful to health.
Art supplies, such as markers, paint, and glue, may also contain toxic materials. When not properly handled, these products can make the home environment a dangerous place, especially for kids.
Home furnishings, such as carpets, curtains, wall decorations, and some furniture, may be treated with chemicals and are potentially dangerous.
It is important to note that a few days after installation, new carpets emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals associated with carpet manufacturing that can be harmful to humans and the environment.
Gas and wood stoves and kerosene heaters may also release dangerous chemicals.
Building materials such as particle board, insulation, asbestos, and treated wood (used for decks and outdoor furniture), can also pose health threats.
Some play sets and toys, as well as outdoor swing sets and play grounds, may also be treated with toxic chemicals, made from toxic plastics, or include hazardous materials.
The more time that children spend playing in such an environment, the higher their exposure to toxic chemicals, and the greater a risk to their health.
Various health effects can result from toxic chemical exposure, including allergic reactions, asthma, migraines, dizziness, nausea, eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, various forms of cancer, and even death.
The health effects resulting from exposure depends upon many factors, including how toxic the chemical is and the degree of exposure. -Childrenâ€™s Environmental Health Network
So there are many factors contributing to indoor air pollution in the home.
Not only are household cleaners at fault, but so are home furnishings and building materials.
These items affect indoor air quality because they release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These VOCs pollute indoor air so thoroughly that the air in our indoor buildings is about two to five times more polluted than outside air â€¦ remember, kids spend up to 85% of their time indoors.
Safety in the Homeâ€¦Health Boosting Tips
Itâ€™s fortunate that parents donâ€™t have to choose between a clean home and healthy kids. To avoid breathing in toxic fumes, try the following:
Avoid products that say, â€œdanger,â€ â€œcaution,â€ or â€œflammableâ€
Use non-toxic products â€“ read labels
Odors are bad! Avoid products with strong, long lasting odors as this means high chemical levels. This includes â€œnaturalâ€ smells like pine or lemon (donâ€™t let the commercials brainwash you)
Use water-based products that are odor-free and biodegradable
Use spray-on products instead of aerosol products
Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and buy microfiber dust cloths
In conclusion, there are many ways to improve the air quality in our homes to keep our children healthy and safe. The home safety for kids tips listed above when followed, will go a long way in improving and maintaining your familyâ€™s health.