The urge to protect our newborns is deep and instinctual. Its power might take some by surprise: keep them close, keep them safe. It is this overpowering urge that leads many new-parents to research organics whether or not toxins in the environment concerned them before.
Toxins in our environment are bad for us all, but particularly harmful to babies and young children.
According to futureofchildren.org:
“Children’s metabolic pathways, especially in the first months after birth, are immature compared with those of adults. As a consequence of this biochemical immaturity, children’s ability to metabolize, detoxify, and excrete certain toxins is different from that of adults.”
“Children are undergoing rapid growth and development, and their delicate developmental processes are easily disrupted. Many organ systems in young children – the nervous system in particular – undergo very rapid growth and development in the first months and years of life… The nervous system is not well able to repair any structural damage that is caused by environmental toxins. Thus, if cells in the developing brain are destroyed by chemicals such as lead, mercury, or solvents, or if vital connections between nerve cells fail to form, there is high risk that the resulting neurobehavioral dysfunction will be permanent and irreversible. The consequences can be loss of intelligence and alteration of normal behavior
This doesn’t make easy reading and adds another layer of anxiety on top of what can already be a worrying time.
So to all those bleary-eyed new parents, or parents-to-be, unsure of where to start here are a few suggestions,
The urge to paint, decorate and generally create a beautiful space for your little one is a wonderful thing; it’s terribly sad, then, that conventional paints are full of toxic fumes. Thankfully there is another option. The Natural Paint Company’s products are all based on natural ingredients making them safer to use. They use a large range of plant oils, waxes, tree resins and china clay. What they emphatically don’t use are ingredients such as chlorinated hydrocarbon; fungicides; insecticides; bactericides; xylene; toluene; benzene; formaldehyde; phenol or heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium or copper. An added bonus is that their colours – Stone, Larnach Castle, Winter Lemon and much more – have a calming, natural finish.
While the risk from non-toxic cotton isn’t so pressing as the toxic load released by mainstream paint, non-organic cotton puts a heavy strain on the environment: cotton accounts for only 2.4% of the crops grown in the world, yet farmers use 25% of the world’s pesticides to grow it – that’s more than any other crop. (Source: http://bit.ly/1UzuMyy)
With this in mind, you might decide to investigate organic cotton options for your baby and luckily there are a wealth of homegrown Kiwi brands to help you on your quest. Nature Baby has everything you need to stock your wee-one’s wardrobe, from newborn sleepbags to pre-school swim and footwear all in vintage pastel and grey prints with an urban edge.
If you only choose organic in one area, make that area the bathroom. The skin is our largest organ. So much of what we smear and rub onto it is absorbed into the bloodstream and children are even more vulnerable than adults as we saw at the beginning.
Well have no fear folks, here’s a very small selection of toxic-free toiletries for kids.
Secondly, Pineapple Heads: a super-fun range of shampoos, conditioners, detanglers and hair-waxes. Kids will love the simple, smiley cartoon-people packaging and the yummy scents: think raspberry, lime and lemon-meringue pie; parents will love the ingredients list – free from silicones, PEGS, petrochemicals, parabens, artificial colours, harsh surfactants and animal products.
And finally, RuaKids create 100% natural handcrafted aromatherapy products that promote and support a child’s wellbeing: bedtime balms, nappy creams and immune support essential oils, it’s definitely worth having a browse of the site.