In today's world, we need to make sure our bodies are detoxifying more effectively than ever. Toxins are everywhere and there is more and more research indicating that excessive toxicity can result in both acute and chronic health conditions. While we won't ever be able to completely avoid toxins, what we can do is reduce our exposure to them and help our children detoxify these everyday toxins effectively.
When I say ‘detoxify’ I’m not referring to a detox program or excessive elimination diet, but instead focusing on the daily practices you can put into place that will help support your child’s ongoing health and development. Children are far more vulnerable to the effects of chemicals due to their size, metabolism, developing organs and behaviour, so we need to make sure their little bodies are not overloaded with toxins and can work as effectively as possible.
When it comes to reducing our child’s toxic burden it comes down to two key components:
1. Limiting Exposures
2. Supporting the bodies own ability to detox and support organs of elimination
Kids living in a modern world are unfortunately going to be exposed to some form toxins or chemical regularly. While there are some toxins and chemicals that are out of our control, the majority of a person toxin exposure is coming from within the home, meaning there is a lot we can do to reduce it. The fewer toxins and chemicals we come into contact with, the less the body has to process.
When it comes to assessing your families personal toxin exposure, start with one room in the house and work your way around. Here are some of the common sources of toxins and chemicals from each main room:
Kitchen - non-stick cookware, plastics (lunch boxes, glad-wrap), antibacterial hand wash, dishwashing liquid, surface cleaners, processed and prepackaged foods, unfiltered water and highly sprayed produce
Bathroom - shampoo/conditioner, body wash, cleaning solutions, toothpaste, makeup, perfume/aftershave, bubble bath
Bedroom - lead-painted toys, old mattresses and bedding
Garden - weed killer and insect repellents
Once you’ve started to eliminate toxins from your home and environment and reduce your daily exposures, it’s time to focus on making sure the body is working effectively to detoxify prior exposures and potential toxicities. This is where you want to think about the little steps you can take every day to keep them as healthy as you can, so the body has everything it needs for optimal detoxification to occur.
Top Tips For Optimising Your Childs Ability To Detoxify
Ensure they are getting enough Vitamin D and fresh air. Vitamin D is important for detoxification, bone, brain and immune health. Time playing outdoors exposes them to more bacteria which helps to further develop their immune system and microbiome, as well as helping to tire them out.
Keep them hydrated. Make sure their primary source of fluid is water and that is getting enough, especially on warmer days. Get a water filter or purifier to make sure they are drinking pure water.
Nourish them with a good diet. Focus on organic, spray-free produce where possible, a variety of different vegetables, fruits, pulses, whole grains, good quality protein sources and healthy fats. Detoxification depends on different vitamins and minerals at different stages, so we want to make sure they’ve got everything they need, as well as supporting overall health and development.
Remove the processed foods. Ditch the processed sugars, prepackaged foods and anything containing artificial colours, sweetness or preservatives and replace them with whole food alternatives. These substances are pro-inflammatory and affect our children’s concentration, mood, sleep and put them at risk of developing conditions such as type two diabetes.
Identify any intolerances or allergies that could be affecting their overall health. If you suspect your child has any intolerances or allergies make sure they have been identified by a health care practitioner and are being effectively managed. Unmanaged intolerances can place additional stress on the body, causing inflammation.
Support their gut health. Try to encourage your children to eat pro and prebiotic-rich foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kefir and natural yoghurt. Probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods help to encourage a healthy and diverse microbiome which is important for overall wellness, immunity and also detoxification.
Make sure they are regular. Going to the toilet is one of our bodies main eliminatory pathways. If the toxins can’t get out hey will recirculate and continue to build up and can problems. If your child is struggling with constipation, reach out to a practitioner that can help you identify the cause and get things moving again.
Get them moving. Sweating releases toxins through our lymphatic system and is one of the best ways to get toxins out. Exercise is a great way for them to de-stress, helping them to sleep better, focus more and encourages them away from screen time.
Make sure they get enough sleep. We need enough sleep to recharge and reset. A lack of sleep can impair our learning, mood and immune system. Try to stick to a nighttime routine and encouraging quiet, calm time before bed to help them sleep.
It might seem like there is a lot to think about, but once you get started these practices will become part of your daily routine and you won't even have to think about it. You'll be too busy watching your child thrive!
When it comes to choosing safer products there are now so many amazing Australian brands that make going chemical-free effortless. If you would however like some extra support, or feel like there may be something else going on for your child, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Please note that a detoxification program or supplementation should never be carried out without the supervision and support of a qualified practitioner.