All parents want to ensure the best possible living environment for their new baby. Modern science provides parents with a great deal of information on what’s safe and what isn’t. With that awareness, however, comes the burden of feeling as if you can’t possibly account for everything. To overcome that challenge, parents must identify and prioritize the potential risks, and then approach that list in methodical fashion. In the order to help you do that, this article identifies the eight most crucial issues.
Most paints emit dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can do so for years after application. To avoid these vapors seeping into the air, opt for paints labeled water-based, VOC-free and non-toxic. Keep in mind that no paint is completely safe, so pregnant women shouldn’t paint ever, and you should paint the nursery months in advance of the baby’s arrival.
VOCs aren’t exclusive to paints and stains and are found in many common household items, including furniture. VOCs are particularly prevalent in cheaper furniture that uses particleboard and the like, but they can also be found in the stains used on high-quality pieces. Green or all-natural furniture is the better option because it’ll be made from certified sustainable wood and with non-toxic finishes.
The ideal flooring for a nursery is hardwood flooring. Washable rugs are a reasonable alternative but not ideal. Carpets are the worst choice because they host dust mites and many other pollutants that can bother the baby’s respiratory system. Like with furniture, choose flooring that’s built from all-natural sources and is finished in a non-toxic way.
It’s also paramount that parents choose organic bedding for their baby. Keep in mind that babies spent most of their time sleeping, and their metabolism is working at a phenomenal rate, which makes them highly susceptible to the contaminants found in many ordinary bedding options. The ideal option is 100-percent organic cotton, and ensure that whatever you choose hasn’t been treated with bleach or formaldehyde.
Parents must take a similar approach to everything the baby wears or is swaddled in. Pay particular attention to how those items are cleaned because detergents can be even more harmful than the chemicals found in clothing, blankets and similar items. Choose detergents and softeners that are mild and non-toxic and preferably plant-based and allergen-free.
Toys are of particular concern because babies will often put them in their mouths. Therefore, all toys must be made with materials that are both sustainable and non-toxic. Many baby toys are made with BPA, which many doctors believe lead to hormonal imbalances, so avoid those. Avoid toys made in countries that don’t have standards as stringent as the U.S.
Clean everything in a nursery on a regular basis, but make sure you’re doing it with safe cleaning solutions. Among consumer products that reduce air quality, household cleaners are among the worst offenders. When possible, use options that are completely green, such as baking soda and white vinegar. If you have to use a commercial product, go to great lengths to ensure that it poses no dangers to your baby.
Indoor Air Quality
The air inside our homes is often far more dangerous than outdoor air. To correct this situation you’ll need to eliminate pollution sources throughout the home, ensure optimal ventilation and employ comprehensive air purification measures. Optimal air purifiers are those that use HEPA technology, which is able to filter pollen, dust, mold, bacteria, viruses and a wide range of other dangerous particles.
Maintaining optimal indoor air quality is a process rather than a single step. Furthermore, air quality efforts can’t be limited to just the nursery. Remove sources of pollutants and contaminants throughout the home, and make sure that you dust, vacuum and sanitize on a regular basis. It can be a lot of work, but that effort is worthwhile: by following these steps, you can help ensure a happy and healthy nursery for your baby.
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