LDAA’s Healthy Children Project

As a parent, you are most likely committed to your child’s health and safety.  There are, unfortunately, myriad, accidental ways of endangering your child with toxic chemicals. The Learning Disabilities Association of America started The Healthy Children Project to do several things, among them

  • “Raise awareness of environmental factors, particularly toxic chemicals, that can harm brain development, contributing to learning disabilities and behavior disorders,
  • Prevent toxic chemical exposures,especially among pregnant women and children,
  • Build a nationwide network of LDA members working to protect children’s health and reduce the incidence of learning disabilities in future generations” (LDA).

Children are more threatened by toxic chemicals than adults.  Kids are not “‘little adults’ – their developing brains and bodies, their metabolism and behaviors make them uniquely vulnerable to harm from toxic chemicals” (LDA).  Parents must always be aware of the difference between their own development and their child’s.  The LDA shares the following points:

  • Exposure begins in the womb through the mother’s expsoure to toxic chemicals. Infants ingest chemicals through breast milk, formula and contact with their environment.
  • Rapid brain development in the fetus, infants and young children make them more susceptible to harm from chemicals that may impair brain function and development.
  • For their weight, children eat, drink and breathe more than adults – so pound for pound they take in a greater quantity of toxic contaminants. A small exposure translates into a big dose.
  • Children put things in their mouths and spend a lot of time on the floor and ground, so they may ingest chemicals from toys, containers, dirt and dust on a regular basis.

Battling toxic contaminants will always be a struggle; keeping children “clean” isn’t as simple as it sounds.  There are, however, several things that parents can do to encourage general health in their children.  Mothers and women attempting to get pregnant should “eat clean.”  Eating clean ideally entails eating unprocessed foods.  Mothers and women attempting to get pregnant should also avoid dangerous materials, like lead.  Feed your children clean foods, or those without unnecessarily processed ingredients.  Children are constantly growing and developing; their minds and bodies need real nutrients, not sugary substitutes masquerading as healthful choices.

Additionally, parents should strive for clean environments.  No, a child’s home environment doesn’t need to be antiseptically clean.  Some exposure to germs strengthens children’s immune systems.  Children’s environments should, however, be the subject of keen parental awareness.  Parental awareness and action translates into healthy children.

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