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5 Ways to De-toxify Kids' Rooms
Let’s face it, kids are messy, often times covered in dirt and who knows what else. As parents, we may not be able to control everything they do, but we do have a modicum of control in the home environment they spend much of their time in. This gives us the ability to rid their rooms and common areas of potentially harmful chemicals and debris. Check out these ideas on how to create safer, worry-free, and most importantly, kid-friendly spaces in your home!
Start with the bed
Change out the old standard bedding for non-toxic, natural and organic options. When shopping for safer bedding, look at the tags and make sure they are made with natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, bamboo; and be sure to double check that the filling is also naturally sourced and chemical free. Natural fills like kapok, organic latex, and wool are great choices for pillows and covers. A non-toxic mattress is especially vital, as many conventional mattresses are made with certain polyurethane foams that have been found to off-gas volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.’s), which have been linked to respiratory irritation and other health problems. Look for safer foams by checking for a Certi-Pur Certified label, which means that the mattress foam has passed a rigorous set of standards for content, emissions, and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.
Clean the air
Indoor air pollution is one of the top five most pressing environmental health risks according to the EPA, tending to be 3 to 5 times worse than outdoor air. The best way to address the risk is to control or eliminate the sources of pollutants by using devices such as an air purifier to filter out any unwanted air particles. The nursery and children’s rooms should be designed to flush out airborne contaminants and prevent excessive moisture in the air, which can facilitate the growth of allergenic mold. Try opening windows during the day to let the breeze in, or use a ceiling fan to help move the air around. Plants are also a fantastic way to improve indoor air quality, and have the added benefit of being beautiful decor items.
This should generally be a rule for your whole house, but it’s especially important that the sleeping/play areas have been cleaned using non-toxic, chemical free cleansers. Keeping little hands and mouths away from icky and abrasive cleaners will go a long way in keeping everybody healthy. Have fun making your very own natural cleaners with some simple ingredients and essential oils!
Use wooden furnishings
Solid wood furniture has the benefit of being both natural and generally chemical free, as well as long lasting. Look for furniture that has been finished with safer sealants such as oil or beeswax instead of polyurethane. Watch out for older cribs and furniture that could potentially be coated with lead based paints, as these are best avoided.
No shoes, please!
Another fantastic household rule that will keep floors cleaner is instituting a “no shoes” policy. Footwear can track in everything from pesticides to lead dust and allergens, not to mention dirt and hair, which means more vacuuming and mopping up. Numerous studies have also found that “track-in” exposures of pesticides may exceed those from the best-known source–pesticide residues on non-organic fresh fruits and vegetables. So invest in a nice shoe rack or bin and make sure to notify family and guests that the footwear doesn’t get past the front door.
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