Don't Retract Pack

7 Ways to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Load

By Maggie Hammond, R.N. © 2017

We live in increasingly toxic environments and it can seem sometimes impossible to escape the different toxins and pollutants we are exposed to everyday. As a parent, it is perfectly understandable to desire to protect our children from an excessive toxic load. And there is no time more important than now while baby is still in his formative years, and early toxin exposure could affect his development. In this article, we’re going to provide a few simple tips on how to protect children from a toxic environment.

Try to Go Organic as Much as Possible 

One of the areas where we let the most toxins in is through our foods. Between chemically laden foods and the various pesticides that enter in the production of most of our produce, it can be difficult to fight back against polluting agents. However, just by going organic, we can significantly reduce the levels of toxins we're exposed to.

It is no secret that much of our produce, even if it contains a great deal of beneficial nutrients, is full of harmful elements. However, it can be difficult and costly to go for all organic produce. The Environmental Working Group released a list of 12 fruits and vegetable that are the main culprits for pesticides and pollutants. By cutting the foods on this list and going for organic alternatives, you could reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 90%.

Some of the foods you should avoid at all costs include apples, strawberries and grapes. As a matter of fact, a single grape can contain as many as 15 pesticides.

Another way to reduce your baby’s toxic load is by breastfeeding, using donor milk, or opting for organic baby formulas when human milk is otherwise not a possibility. While there are a wide variety of U.S. made organic baby formulas, Europe seems to have a leg up in this area. Fortunately, most of these brands ship worldwide. However, before you go for a certain brand, it would be wise to check for reviews and see which one suits your needs and budget the best. Check this European Organic Baby Formula Guide for a rundown of the best European Organic Baby Formula brands on the market.

Environmental Working Group: Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

Try to Avoid Plastic as Much as You Can

Did you know that plastic can be full of harmful chemicals and pollutants? And we’re not talking about dirt here, but dangerous chemical components known as BPAs which enter into their composition. You can start by going for BPA free plastic cups, bottles, straws and plastic wrap. However, even if you go for BPA free bottles and cups, you are still susceptible for Bisphenol S, which is another harmful chemical that enters in the production of most plastic components. Both elements have been linked to developmental and hormonal imbalances in children, which can be particularly harmful during their development stage. There is still no law that omits companies from hiding the level of BPS and BPA contained in their products, so you have to do your due diligence and check it for yourself.

Opt for Water or Natural Juice

When it comes to hydration, you should try to stick to fluoride free water or fresh natural juice when possible. Also, make sure that you limit the consumption of juice as well since a single cup of freshly squeezed juice can contain the same amount of sugar as multiple portions of the same fruit. You can add a little flavor to the juice by adding citrus or grapefruit juice into the mix. If you don’t have the luxury to go for full organic juice, try to stay away from juices containing artificial dyes such as Red 40 and Yellow 5 and 6. Both these artificial dyes have been linked with behavioral problems. You should also stay away from artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose as well as high fructose corn syrup.

Reduce Your Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields

While protecting yourself from electromagnetic fields can feel like an impossibility in this day and age, they can have a harmful effect on your health and have been linked to a wide variety of health conditions. Everything from cell phones, to computers, tablets, appliances, TVs and everything that is wirelessly connected emits a certain electromagnetic field which can be very harmful in the long run. 

While there are still a lot of skeptics about the effects of electromagnetic fields on humans, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that they do in fact have a negative effect on our bodies. As a matter of fact, the World Health Organization went as far as classifying EMFs as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

There are some simple ways you can reduce your EMF exposure. One of the easiest ways is to turn off your WiFi router at night. This step alone could cut your EMF exposure for a full eight hours. Turning all cellphones in the house to airplane mode when you’re not using them is another great way to cut EMF exposure, as well as buying EMF protection cases for your children’s iPads and Android tablets. You can also get a WiFi radiation blocker for your home's router and your cell phone as additional protection against EMFs. 

Try to Keep the Use of Non Organic Personal Care Products to a Minimum

We are often not aware of how many toxins enter in the production of personal care products and the effects they have on our health and bodies. These can have a particularly disastrous effect on the health of little babies still in their development stage. Cosmetics specifically contain tons of harmful chemicals. Did you know that toxins contained in creams and cosmetics can enter the bloodstream through the skin and pass through your baby’s placenta? This is why it is essential for pregnant women to either stay away completely from cosmetics or go for natural options. This goes for everything from nail polish to skin creams, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreens and perfume.

Promote Clean Air in Your Home

Did you know that the air inside your home is often more toxic than the air outside? This may be shocking, but our homes are full of toxins and pollutants we are often completely oblivious about. According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the air in our home can be 3 to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air. There are some easy ways that you can clean the air in your house. First of all, ban any form of smoking in the house. You can also purify the air by using an air ionizer, ventilating properly, adding a few plants and using aromatherapy. Try to buy clean, chemical free cleaning products. And if you can’t, there are plenty of ways that you can create your own using household items like vinegar and sodium bicarbonate.

Make sure Your Child’s Sleeping Environment is Clean and Safe

While everyone wants to make their little one’s room as cute, many of us completely overlook toxic elements in the process. Paint can be full of harmful chemicals that can be especially dangerous to young children. The best option is going for VOC free paints. These paints are free of heavy metals, petroleum based solvents and formaldehyde. If you moved into a new home, make sure that the walls are lead free. Lead was officially banned in 1978, any room that was painted before that may contain lead. Find out when the last time the walls were painted. Also, when buying furniture, make sure any products you choose are made from untreated wood. Pressed woods are often full of tons of harmful glues and chemicals and can be dangerous. If you don’t know where to find organic, untreated wood, you can always go for old, second hand furniture as these tend to be made of natural wood more often. Also, try to stay away from second hand toys that were made before 1978.


As you can see, staying away from chemicals isn’t as difficult as it may seem. While you can never completely cut off chemicals from your environment, you can always start by taking steps to reduce. First, make sure that you try to opt for organic produce and foods as much as possible. If you can, try to avoid produce with the highest chemical content. Be sure to stay away from plastic cups, toys, wrap and bottles that aren’t BPA and BPS free. As far as pregnancy goes, make sure that you either reduce or completely pause use of personal care items and cosmetics that are known carcinogens. If your house is full of electronic devices, try to reduce your exposition to EMFs by cutting your Wi-Fi router at night, using airplane mode on your phones as much as possible, and by using EMF blocking equipment for your phones, tablets and computers. And last, but not least, be sure to use VOC paint in all the rooms in your house to ensure the air is free of heavy metals and petroleum based solvents.

Common toxins in our daily environment. 

Related Reading:

How Not To Die

Toxic World, Toxic People


Boost Your Child's Immune System

UnDo It!

Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. 


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