How to Make Healthy Room for Kids

download-30Expectant mothers (and mothers in general) paint, carpet and buy everything under the sun they can think of in hopes of creating the most perfectly beautiful little space for their precious new baby. What they usually don’t know is that most of the products that they are using contain harmful chemicals. Many of these chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, and as we sleep through the night we are breathing in the off-gassing of these poisons. Now think of this…what is toxic to us is about FIFTEEN times more toxic to our itty bitty baby and our developing teen!

Lung Disease and breathing problems are the number one cause of infant deaths who are under the age of one, according to the American Lung Association.  The reason for this is pretty simple.  The airways of babies are small and can easily shut down when inflamed.  They also breathe more times per minute than adults do which in turn means that they breathe in more toxins then adults do.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air. VOCs are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous. They include both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Most scents or odors are of VOCs.  Some VOCs are dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment.  Since people today spend most of their time at home or in an office, long-term exposure to VOCs in the indoor environment can contribute to Sick Building Syndrome (Wang, et al., 2007). Studies also show that relative leukemia and lymphoma can increase through prolonged exposure of VOCs in the indoor environment (Irigaray, et al., 2007).

All parents want more sustainable, durable and healthier kids products, but most of the time they don’t know where to find it and what exactly to look for. So, they turn to big name stores thinking if they have gotten this far it means they know what they are doing and must be safe. When in reality, this very far from the truth. When a small child develops asthma, that poor parent doesn’t have any answers as to where it came from and what caused it. Most likely it came from their environment.  We try to keep our kids health by feeding them a balanced meal, making sure they get plenty of exercise and rest, but all of that doesn’t matter when your child is sleeping in a room filled with off-gases you are not even aware of due to the toxic paint in their crib or bed and the awful toxic mattress your child is sleeping on all night.

Aside from giving them all the love and care in the world- the next best thing we can do for our children is to provide a safe and healthy environment in which they can grow. Creating a healthy nursery or room and maintaining a healthy space for our children requires a little research and taking a good hard look at our indoor environment. What all of this means is that when we are building and furnishing the living areas for our children, we need to pay extra attention to keeping out chemical and biological pollutants.

As a culture we are becoming more aware and moving toward healthier life standards and manufacturers need to realize this. Two important  terms to know when shopping for your nursery furniture are JPMA and GREENGUARD. JPMA and GREENGUARD are both certifications that a product receives which shows the product has gone through specific rigorous testing that ensures a higher standard of product safety.