We all want to keep our precious little ones safe and healthy, right? That’s a Mom’s job. Unfortunately, in today’s high-paced, modern world there are hidden risks for our kids seemingly lurking behind every corner. Every new scientific study seems to show that something we’re utilising in our homes or feeding our families is doing us harm. For parents juggling the competing demands of work, family and children’s education it can be a minefield. Many of us must make difficult choices between convenience and what is best for our kids. With such a huge volume of conflicting information out there, it can be tough to know what is helping or harming your family. Here are a few important items for consideration:
Studies have shown that these nasties may impact our children’s hormonal system. The long-term effects are not fully known, however, there is evidence linking them to early onset of puberty and fertility issues. Fortunately, there are plenty of products without endocrine disruptors out there. The bad news is you need to look extremely hard to be 100% sure. Predictably, plastics are the biggest culprit, as most known endocrine disruptors such as BPA and Phthalates are a key ingredient in the ubiquitous material. However, phthalates are in almost everything. Cosmetics, cleaning, laundry and hair care products and pretty much anywhere else you look. The best advice I can give is to look for products made from wood or other organic materials for your kids’ toys, tableware clothing, while only purchasing soaps, shampoos and other personal care items that specify phthalate free.
Computers, phones and tablets are wonderful tools and sources of information for our kids. Unfortunately, this sometimes comes at a cost. We’ve all experienced the hysterical tantrums that come when it is time to switch off the device. If you’ve ever thought that your kid seems like a junkie coming down off a hit, you are not far off. Studies have shown that screens can affect the brains chemistry in much the same way as narcotics, and can be just as addictive, even for small babies. While it is tempting to use the device as a crutch to keep them quiet and occupied during busy times, you need to weigh that against the potential damage that it is doing. Your best bet is to maintain strict, but fair boundaries about when and how much screen time your kids have.
Not So Sweet
It is no secret that sugar is potentially disastrous for our health if not consumed in moderation. The health effects of excessive sugar intake read like an encyclopedia of medical horrors: Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, liver failure, tooth and gum disease, high cholesterol, immune system dysfunction, behavioural issues. The list goes on and on. Many packaged and processed foods contain high levels of hidden sugar, so be vigilant about what food products you use in your home. Read the labels carefully and make good choices.
Sit on It
There has been much media hype about sitting being the new smoking. While that might sound a little bit over-dramatic, study after study has shown that sitting for long periods is associated with numerous negative health outcomes, including diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and others. By encouraging your kids to sit less and move more, you are setting them on the right path for a healthier lifestyle
With plenty of research and the right precautions, you can ensure that your children are protected against some of these risks that the modern world throws at them.