Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

Weekly challenge (I mean, opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us!

The Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment is an affiliation of organizations with a common goal of improving children’s environmental health in Canada. They have recently released recommendations to reduce common sources of toxic exposure associated with health risks to children. Here are their five tips for creating a healthy home environment for kids:

Bust that dust. Dust is one of the main sources of toxin exposure for children. Toxins collect in house dust after being released from carpet, furniture, electronics, upholstery and more. Because children play closer to the ground they are exposed to more dust than adults. Also, their smaller bodies cannot process toxins as well as those of adults.

Go green when you clean. Many cleaning products contain an array of toxic chemicals used for everything from window shining to wood polishing. Similar to house dust, children spend their time closer to these surfaces, placing their hands all over tables and windows (and then placing those fingers in their mouth). Using non-toxic cleaners can give you peace of mind next time little Suzie tries to fit her whole fist in her mouth after smearing mashed potatoes on the coffee table.

Renovate right. House renovations can introduce a host of toxins from building materials, and can put pregnant women and children at risk of toxin exposure. If you can avoid renovating during these times, that would be ideal. However, if renovation must be done, be sure that all dust is properly cleaned up each day, and that the renovation area is well sealed off from living areas.

Get drastic with plastic. The experts recommend against using plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave, to store food in ceramic or glass containers instead of plastic containers, to eat fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables in order to avoid BPA (bisphenol A) found in canned foods, and to avoid teething toys, bibs, bath toys, shower curtains and other items that contain PVC or vinyl.

Dish safer fish. They recommend choosing fish low in mercury, like Atlantic mackerel, herring, rainbow trout, wild or canned salmon, and tilapia. When tuna is preferred, choosing the light variety over albacore tuna is best due to a higher mercury content in albacore tuna.

This week, if you aren’t following these tips, begin to implement them where you can. These recommendations are right on. I hope this information gets into the hands of many parents. Pass it on!