Toxins are everywhere. They’re in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we buy every day. Even in products made for children. Do toxins make you feel overwhelmed? Don’t worry mama, I’ve been there. It’s difficult to accept that our kiddos are living in a world full of toxins. Even as a naturopathic doctor, I’ve had moments of utter disheartenment. But here’s the silver lining: The more I learn about how to reduce the body’s toxic burden, the more I’m empowered by what I can do to protect my family. There are many powerful ways to help our kids detox toxins and stay healthy. Today we’re talking toxins: When your child is most vulnerable, symptoms, and what you can do to reduce your child’s toxic burden and improve their immune health.
When Is Your Child Most Vulnerable to Environmental Toxins?
Young kids, especially babies, are most sensitive to environmental toxins. There are a few reasons for this:
- Their bodies are still developing.
- Young kids crawl on the carpet.
- They put their hands and toys in their mouth.
- Children breathe more rapidly, and also breathe in more air.
- Being exposed at a young age means they have more time to develop health problems from exposure to toxicity than if you were exposed as an adult.
I’m going to give you a few effective tips to lower your child’s toxic burden. But first–let’s make sure you know the symptoms of too much toxin exposure.
Symptoms of High Toxicity
When a child comes into my office with a few of the following health issues, it’s a sign to me that the body’s toxic burden is getting to be too much and we may need to develop a detoxification plan. Here are common symptoms and conditions I look out for:
- Brain fog, or difficulty concentrating
- Allergies – food, environmental, seasonal
- Skin irritation – eczema, acne, rashes
- Difficulty breathing – asthma, respiratory issues
If we continue to overburden the body, serious health issues can develop like chronic and inflammatory-based diseases. If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, visit your trusted doctor. They will help you determine if exposure to toxins is in fact what’s causing your child’s symptoms.
How to Reduce Your Child’s Toxic Burden
Now that you know what to look out for, let’s talk about what you can do to protect your child from the harmful effects of toxins.
Use filters in your home.
Air pollution and chemicals in our water pose some of the most threatening health risks. Investing in an air and water filter is one of the best ways to decrease your family’s exposure to toxins. (1) Air filters: Use a high-quality air filter, like a HEPA filter, to protect your home from air pollution. *Quick tip: House plants act as effective, natural air purifiers! (2) (3) They’ve also been proven to reduce stress. (4) Put one in bedrooms, offices, and other rooms throughout the house. You’ll find BOTH types of air purifiers in my office!
Water purifiers and filters: Having a water filter is a must. Here are a few types of water filters I recommend to patients:
- Big Berkey water filter
- Hydroviv faucet and shower filter
- Aquasana faucet and shower filter
- CuZn Bath ball faucet filter
Purifying the air and water are two of the most basic things we can do to protect our kids from harmful toxins.
Load your child’s diet with colorful, whole foods.
What exactly do I mean by colorful, whole foods? You guessed it, Mama! Fruits and veggies. These foods are packed with fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They’re essential in any detox plan. (5) Fiber – found in plant-based foods – plays a crucial role in detox, helping to remove waste from the body. (6)
Buy organic produce when you can. Organic foods skip the pesticides and are thus free of chemicals and preservatives. Shopping organic can add up, so check the dirty dozen and clean15 guides, put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) each year, on what foods are most important to buy organic. A quick tip: Be sure to buy clean meat, too!
Corner Post Meats is a company local to Colorado Springs. They ship sustainably raised farm animals including grass-fed cows, free-range chickens, forest foraging pork, and pole caught fish. It’s the place to go if you want to truly know where your meat is coming from. Click here to learn more about their mission and get your own clean meat!
Avoid chemicals in household products.
Chemicals surround us every day. They’re in carpets, our furniture, and our clothes. It’s impossible, in my opinion, to avoid chemicals completely. But we can avoid a few common culprits. Products to pay close attention to include cleaning supplies, such as laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaning solutions, and hygiene products, such as soaps and lotions. These products often contain strong chemicals. So what can you use instead?
- Buy products marked “chemical-free” or “all-natural”
- Make your own cleaning solutions and hydrating lotions at home
- Use the EWG’s Skin Deep app to review your products for toxicity
An added benefit is that natural products are odorless or can be scented with essential oils. Either way, you’re avoiding harmful chemicals in your home!
Give your kiddo a detox bath.
An easy way to be proactive about your child’s health is to give them a detox bath. This is a staple detox method for many of my patients. How does it work? Epsom salts are made up of magnesium and sulfate. The minerals found in these ingredients draw out harmful toxins from the body. Here’s how it’s done: Fill up a warm-hot bath with…
- 1 cup fragrance-free Epsom salts
- ½ cup baking soda
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
Soak your kiddo for 30-45 minutes about 3-4 times weekly for the best results. *Do this before bedtime as lavender is a natural sleep aid.
Air Pollution From Wildfires: Natural Remedies to Relieve Symptoms
We’re seeing more and more wildfires each year, especially in the west. We’ve experienced quite a few here in Colorado this year, as well as smoke trickling over from California wildfires. Fine particles from wildfire smoke can lead to long-term respiratory issues and cause immediate irritation. Here are some natural remedies to relieve common symptoms:
- Irritated eyes: Similisan complete eye relief drops
- Difficulty breathing: NAC supplements, liposomal glutathione, eucalyptus essential oil diffuser
- Dry throat: Gaia sage, aloe throat lozenges, Boiron throat calm
Children with existing respiratory issues like asthma are especially at risk. Limit your child’s exposure to the outdoors on days with poor air quality. And be sure to invest in an air filter.
You Can Protect Your Child
Our #1 job as mamas is to protect our little ones. Talking about all the places toxins exist can feel scary. But we can’t let it consume us. It’s the reality we live in. Create a plan using these tips to reduce your child’s exposure to harmful chemicals. You’ll gain a sense of control over your child’s health and wellbeing. Do you see signs that toxins may be affecting your child’s immune health? Book a free phone consultation with me. I’ll evaluate your child’s symptoms and we can run tests to check for toxicity. Together, we’ll get to the root cause of your child’s health issues.