Having a healthy home: Why focus on children?

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By Lauren Kolacki

Everyone needs a healthy home. But there are special reasons to think about children. Children’s bodies are still growing. Their young brains, livers, and other organs are more likely to be harmed by chemicals and other dangers than those of adults. If children get sick, it may be harder for them to get well because their immune systems are still developing.

For their size, children eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than adults do. When they get lead in their bodies or breathe in harmful gases, they get a bigger dose than adults would.

Children play and crawl on the ground. That means they are closer to many things that might cause health problems, like dust and chemicals. Babies and young children also put most everything in their mouths— things that might have chemicals or lead dust on them.

But did you know your home might have hidden dangers to your children’s health? Ask yourself:

  • Is the air in your home clean and healthy?
  • Do your children have breathing problems, like asthma?
  • Is someone in your home allergic to mold?
  • Do you know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning?
  • Is there lead anywhere in your home?
  • Is your tap water safe to drink?
  • Do you have household products with chemicals in them that can make you sick?
  • Do you use bug spray or other products to keep away pests?
  • Do you keep poisons where your children can reach them?

The answers to questions like these will help you learn if your home is safe and healthy. It will also give you ideas about how to protect your children’s health. It is up to you to make sure your home is a healthy home, but there are lots of places to go for help.