As a parent, you want nothing more than for your children to grow up healthy and happy. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of the many environmental factors that have a real impact on our health and well-being. Thankfully, the San Francisco pediatric care experts at GetzWell Pediatrics make it their business to understand these factors and take the guesswork out of raising truly healthy kids.
What you don’t know CAN hurt you
It’s quite possible there are things in your everyday life that are harmful to your own health and that of your children. Following these tips can help minimize toxins in your environment and eliminate potential causes of future illness:
- Dust Often: household dust accumulates quickly and is a mixture of many harmful substances, including lead, diesel and industrial chemicals tracked in from outside. On a weekly basis (or twice weekly if you have crawling child) wet mopping (warm water only) and dusting with a damp cloth can help keep these toxins to a minimum. We strongly encourage taking off your shoes prior to entering your home, removing clutter, and storing toys in closed containers.
- Avoid Harsh Cleaning Products: many popular household cleaning products contain unsafe and untested chemicals and aren’t necessary in most cases. Use baking soda or Bon Ami for scrubbing sinks and tubs, and a simple mixture of water and vinegar for other surface cleaning tasks. Additionally, use fragrance free detergents, avoid dryer sheets, and employ dry cleaners that use non-toxic methods. Consult EWG’s database to check out safe products: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners
- Use Plastics Sparingly: regardless of labels claiming plastic containers are “food safe,” they still may release harmful chemicals into food and drink. Use glass or ceramic containers for storage and heating. Be aware of plastic bottles and aluminum cans, which often contain BPA, a chemical linked to a number of health problems including stunted brain development and hormonal imbalances. Also avoid toys, bibs, teethers, shower curtains, and other items containing PVC (vinyl).
- Monitor Mercury Intake: while eating fish has been linked to healthier nervous systems and brains among other benefits, certain types of fish, including tuna and swordfish, contain high levels of mercury, a powerful neurotoxin. Opting for fish like salmon, anchovies and sardines ensures you reap the benefits without the risk of mercury toxicity. Always opt for wild fish over farmed fish of any kind.
- Eat Organic: pesticides have been linked to learning disabilities, developmental delays, cancer, asthma, reproductive dysfunction, among others. Children take in more food pound for pound than adults and their bodies aren’t designed to off-load toxins as well as adults. Eating organic does make a difference – make it a priority in your family.
Your partners for pediatric care
Raising healthy kids can be a daunting task, and with so many factors to consider, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Let us be your partners. We want to help foster a long and healthy life for your child. Call us to schedule your appointment today.
Questions about how to improve your child’s health? Your San Francisco pediatric care experts at GetzWell Pediatrics are here to help. Church St / Union St: (415) 826-1701.