How to keep your home safe from toxins when you have kids

Are these floors safe for me?

“OOOPS”!!

That’s probably the one word you wouldn’t want to say around your kid. Barring “aiyoo” and“O.M.G” of course. We wouldn’t want you saying it either. But, your tiny tot goes through a phase of culinary curiousity. And everything in your house becomes a new cuisine to try. Sure, we’ve all eaten our fair share of lipsticks and mud growing up. But, unfortunately some of the ingredients in the new age products could be toxic to your baby. Save yourself some “oops” moments, and learn about how to detox your home for the little one.

Here are some toxicants you should watch out for:

1) Dust

Yes, you read it right. Dust could be toxic to your child. Harmless as we assume dust to be, it’s actually an accumulation of many dirt particles, including toxicants like lead. How does it get in there? Paint from walls, windows and doors flakes over time and adds lead to your dust. It could also enter your house if your neighbours are indulging in construction activities. So don’t skimp on the “dusting”, because your child could be wading through it or eating off it.

How to keep your home safe from toxins when you have kids

2) Alcohol

No cocktails for you cuties, obviously. But, we’re not really worried about happy-hours. Alcohol is literally everywhere! Everyday products such as mouthwash, nail polish, sanitizer and perfumes have alcohol in them. So make sure you don’t leave them lying around the house, because your baby could ingest it by mistake.

3) Medicines

Looks like candy.. tastes like death? But your babies don’t know that! They’re attracted to those brightly coloured capsules, and are willing to try them all. Consumed in the wrong quantity, harmless medications, which are life-savers for your headaches, could be extremely toxic for your child. So, lock ‘em away!

How to keep your home safe from toxins when you have kids

4) Cleaning Products

Unfortunately, your trusty germ fighting buddies— floor cleaners, detergents, dishwashing liquids—could also be poisoning your baby. The chemicals in these products could cause a plethora of health issues. For example, if you’re not using a floor cleaner safe for babies, then your tiny-tot could be crawling across the chemical residue it leaves behind on your floor, causing contact dermatitis, asthma and development disorders for the entire family.

But, wait a minute? Then how do you keep the dust and grime away?

Switch to plant-based cleaning products. They’re non-toxic and don’t leave behind any chemical residue on your clothes, floors or hands. Furthermore, these plant based floor cleaners are not only safe for your tiny tot, but also safeguard your floor, i.e they ensure your tiles and/or marbles don't lose their colour and luster.

 How to keep your home safe from toxins when you have kids

However, this doesn’t mean that you can keep them lying around the house. As a thumb rule, out of sight = out of tummy! So, designate hard-to-reach cabinets for your cleaning supplies, so that your little human doesn’t chug down your floor cleaner mistaking it for that yummy OJ she had for breakfast.

5) Plastic

We all know that plastic is harmful for the environment. It takes years for it to decompose and has harmed many sea creatures. But have you ever wondered why plastic could be bad for you? Since it is reinforced with chemical additives, sustained usage of plastic can cause infertility, cancer or neurological disorders. The chances of these chemicals leaching into your food or beverages is higher when the plastic is heated. We suggest you keep your plastics out of the microwave.

Pro tip: Consider going old-school with your child’s toys. Rediscover wooden trains and jute dolls with them.

What should you do after an “oops” incident?

It’s impossible to supervise your child 24*7. No matter how hard you try, you’re bound to have some “oops” moments with your child. This doesn’t make you a bad parent! But, knowing how to tackle those moments definitely makes you a well prepared one.

Here are a few things you can do if your baby has been exposed to a toxin.

1. Don’t panic! Panic causes paralysis. Your baby needs you to stay calm and take immediate action.

2. Equip yourself with information. Read the ingredients on the back of the product which has been ingested, inhaled or splashed.

3. Take a call, about making “the call”. Every situation doesn’t demand a visit to the emergency room. However, if your child is unconscious post exposure, make the call to emergency number 112 to receive professional medical help.

4. Be prompt. Rinse out your child’s eyes if they’ve splashed themselves with something toxic. Take them out for some fresh air if they’ve inhaled toxic fumes.

5. Maintain a first aid kit. Have basic baby friendly medicine on hand, in addition to bandages, alcohol wipes and antibiotic ointments. You should also consider learning or brushing up on your CPR skills.

6. Child-proof your house- often! Child-proofing isn’t a one time job. You need to be vigilant about potentially harmful substances and keep them out of your baby’s reach, in cabinets or behind doors. Think like a curious baby and take a crawl around the house. Put away your breakables, and store the toxicants in designated “adult” areas which are inaccessible to your baby.

7. Go green. Switch to non-toxic products such as Born Good’s baby friendly floor cleaner, plant- based detergents and dishwashing liquid. This not only helps your baby’s future— by reducing your collective negative impact on the environment — but also makes your immediate surroundings safer vis a vis exposure to chemicals.

We hope that we’ve helped you skip a few “oops” moments. Good luck for the ones you are destined to face.

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