10 Toxins that Your Baby Should Not be Exposed to
In today’s day and age, there are a plethora of toxins and harmful substances in all shapes and sizes that can have deleterious effects on your adorable little baby. These toxins can be found among common household items and can lead to growth and development issues at best, and serious conditions such as meningitis, at worst. Behavioral changes are far more insidious, because by the time you’ve realized that your child is being affected, it will be too late. It’s imperative for you to be proactive and keep your child away from these everyday toxins.
1. Cigarette Smoke
The first should come as no surprise. Cigarette smoke, even second-hand, is known to cause several issues later on, but despite that prevalent knowledge, it maintains its position as one of the leading causes of respiratory tract infections, in addition to be associated with a number of psychological issues later on in life. In a study conducted in the UK, kids exposed to second hand smoke in their infancy took longer to reach their developmental milestones and were more likely to repeat grades in school.
Mercury is another common cause of mental retardation, in addition to causing drowsiness, sleep disorders and impaired memory. Apart from being present in fish via bioaccumulation (which is why pregnant mothers are recommended not to eat tuna), it can be found in a number of household appliances such as thermometers, fluorescent lamps and batteries. Make it a point to keep those away from your precious children.
On the topic of heavy metals, lead has officially been classified as a developmental neurotoxin. Although government regulations have strictly decreased the amount of lead in everyday products, it can still be found to some degree in tap water and paint dust. The best you can do, then, is prevent your child from drinking tap water and avoiding use paints in your house that include lead in their ingredients.
4. Pet Faeces
This is going to be a bit out of the ballpark, but cat faeces should be kept far away from not just infants, but pregnant mothers as well, and that’s, because they contain the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii. This can cause congenital deafness, brain calcifications and visual problems. All the more reason to have your husband take out the kitty litter when you’re pregnant, and keep that litter pile away from your infants, as well.
5. PVC Toys
Make sure that your kids’ toys don’t include PVC (polyvinyl chloride). More often than not, these toys contain lead and cadmium that could leech out, especially if your child puts those toys in their mouth.
6. Keep Chemicals Away
Aim to keep solvents like paint thinner, aerosol sprays, ethanol and turpentine out of hands reach, as well. And that’s because there’s a very strong correlation between these and CNS depression, especially if (God forbid) consumed.
7. Wooden Toys
Arsenic is an old fashioned neurotoxin, mostly found in wood varnishes and as a preservative for wooden toys. Adequate precautions would include checking the labels for wooden toy sets or at least ensuring that your child washes their hands when they’re done playing.
8. Insect Sprays
We’d be remiss without talking about insecticides and pesticides. Organophosphates in particular are something to watch out for, as they can cause behavioral and neurochemical problems, later on.
9. Allergic Fabric
Flame Retardants, a recent addition to the fabric of many baby outfits and pajamas, have been are known to mimic thyroid hormones, there thereby interfere with infant brain development.
10. Chemical Based Baby Shampoos and Lotions
The last thing we feel it is important to talk about is the presence of synthetics, particularly formaldehyde, in baby products like lotions and shampoos. It’s definitely worth going out of your way to get specific ‘baby-shampoos’ and such like products, otherwise the synthetics could cause serious irritations and allergies.