Getting a diagnosis for a child's health issue can be a huge relief for parents. Not knowing what is causing your child's condition is difficult. However, sometimes getting a diagnosis is just the beginning not the end. This was true for us as our child was diagnosed with asthma and allergies. We had a two-year-old that could not stop coughing and was quite miserable. How do we fix this? We listened to our doctors and immediately began treating his condition. We wanted to be sure that when he was feeling like he couldn't breathe, that he was getting the rescue drugs that would give him the relief that he needed. We also administered maintenance drugs as directed. I began to wonder though what else we were missing.
There was obviously a pattern of symptoms that directly corresponded to the cleaning products that I would use. I was finding that I was purposefully cleaning when he was not home. Symptoms may be watery eyes, itching and tiredness or sometimes a cough. Every time he was sick, the mom in me made me feel that I should clean more. I didn’t realize that the very chemicals, synthetics and fragrance in the products I was using were directly causing or enhancing his symptoms. Through a friend I found that the chemicals were probably the culprit.
Any chronic disease or acute cold or flu can be amplified by chemicals. Just as you try to reduce the germs in your home and life with harsh products, you are also reducing the immune system because of toxic overload. The effects of chemicals and synthetics can mimic those of normal illnesses.
Does someone in your home always have a runny or stuffy nose? Cough? Don't chalk it up to having a cold or allergies too quickly. Check your cleaning bucket first. The most common methods of exposure are through the skin and respiratory tract.
Children tend to have their hands in their mouths and spend time on the floor. Is it common that you wipe your high chair down with cleaning products or dish soap? All contain toxic chemicals. Pound for pound, children's exposure is higher than adults because even though the amount of exposure equal by time, the children have less body mass and increased fat content. Toxins can be trapped in their fat cells. Their immune systems are still developing therefore they are the highest risk in the population for chemical exposure symptoms.
Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services database or EWG.org is great as well. Start exchanging a few products at a time for a healthier alternative, then move on to the next set. For example, change over your bathroom products all at once then move on to kitchen, personal care, etc. Your health benefits will increase, and you will start to notice the family making a change for the better! We sure did!
Visit our learning center for some safer alternatives.