Build a healthy environment for your baby with practical and easy tips from national nonprofit Healthy Child Healthy World.

Green Your Halloween: How to Have a Safe and Eco-Friendly Holiday

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Halloween! Have your kids been counting the days since last year? You’re not alone. It’s arguably a favorite family holiday, but our celebrations can be haunted in unexpected ways if parents aren’t careful. Not only are Halloween costumes, fake blood, and even candy potentially contain everything from lead to hormone disrupting chemicals, but also the piles of Halloween-related waste are downright scary. Here’s how to celebrate the fantastically fun day without any Halloween nightmares:

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Take a Pregnant Pause When It Comes to Plastics

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Plastic is obviously the most convenient material in the modern kitchen. But some types contain toxic compounds that can easily migrate into food, especially when heat and/or fat are involved. Which makes it more than wise to take special precautions when it comes to food and plastic during pregnancy—whatever gets into your food can get into you and your growing baby, too! Here’s a quick guide to staying safe when you’re expecting:

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Nesting? 7 Steps to a Safer Nursery

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If you’ve reached the moment in your pregnancy when you’re thinking about setting up baby’s room, here’s how to make it as pure as can be. For more ideas, check out our free e-book. And always keep in mind that when it comes to gear for a baby, less is truly more.

1. Choose no or at least low-VOC paint

Traditional paints include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to keep ingredients dissolved evenly and to help the finished product dry. These VOCs can affect your baby’s health. Since paints can continue to emit VOCs for months after they’ve been applied, it’s best to choose low- or no-VOC varieties or alternatives like milk paints. It’s also advisable to have someone other than mom applying the paint, especially if scraping of old paint—which may or may not be lead-based—is involved prior to application of new paint. Hiring a trained professional is the safest way to go, especially if you don’t know if there are layers of lead paint in your home.

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12 Tips for Choosing Safe & Eco-Friendly Toys

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You’re probably careful about avoiding choking hazards and other common safety issues with toys, but did you know there are a wide variety of synthetic chemicals and heavy metals that could be in them? From lead and cadmium in paint, plastics, and jewelry to xylene, toluene, and phthalates in play cosmetics – when did toy boxes become a toxic minefield?

Here are 12 ways you can reclaim the fun and reduce worry when it comes to playtime. Make your toy box healthier for your child and the planet. More »

How to Give Your Diaper Bag a Makeover

How to Give your Diaper Bag a Makeover

When you’re the parent to a baby, your diaper bag is your lifeline. Without it, chaos ensues. Want healthier, eco-friendly baby products and a safer diaper bag? Try this diaper bag eco-makeover to save your sanity, help your baby stay happy and healthy, and protect the Earth.

First off, start with a good bag. If you buy new, look for Earth-friendly textiles like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or recycled plastic. If you’re looking to re-use (the most sustainable and affordable option), avoid PVC, which can leach phthalates and lead.

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5 Simple Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy

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During those first few weeks of pregnancy, a baby’s body undergoes some pretty rapid growth, and each development relies on precise, successful development in the previous stage. Because so much is happening so quickly, these first weeks are a particularly vulnerable period. Considering nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, living an eco-conscious, healthy lifestyle beforehand may be the best thing you can do to prepare your body for having a healthy baby–planned or not. This goes for the men out there, too. After all, toxins are known to affect the health and mobility of sperm. To prevent birth defects or other unintended health impacts, get started now!

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Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products: What to Keep, What to Toss

Safe Skincare for Pregnancy

Whether you’re spraying on your favorite perfume or rubbing in some moisturizing lotion, it’s easy to forget that what you put on your skin can be absorbed right into your body; which is why choosing safe personal care products is a must — especially when pregnant. The experts at Healthy Child, Healthy World share some must-read advice for moms-to-be on what to steer clear of now that you’re expecting. More »

5 Tips for Eating Safer Seafood

Fish Market

Raise your hand if you have a hard time figuring out which fish and seafood are safe to eat.

I really want to give my family all the good things about fish (omega-3’s, protein!) without any of the bad (mercury, PCBs, antibiotics – yuck).  To eat fish that’s good for you and isn’t fished in a manner that’s destroying the oceans, you have to be an informed and conscious consumer.

Don’t give up on fish and seafood just because it’s complicated to know what to buy. Follow these tips to get the safest seafood for your family.

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Healthy Home: Best of 2012

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Use these most popular posts from Healthy Child Healthy World from the past year to help you build a healthy environment for your new baby.

Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need
Isn’t it time to purge what isn’t necessary? Let’s start with this top 10 list of toxic products you absolutely don’t need. We compiled the list with the input of our knowledgeable Facebook community.

5 Non-Toxic Baby Care Products You Can Make!
Great news: Nontoxic baby care products don’t have to be expensive! Organic, nontoxic, or even fragrance free items for our little ones can veer towards the pricey side. Luckily, there are easy, affordable DIY solutions for many commonly used baby care products.

How Your Dog Keeps Your Baby Healthy
Here’s one more reason your dog is your best friend. A new study published in Pediatrics last week found that babies in homes with dogs have fewer ear infections, take fewer antibiotics, and get respiratory illnesses less often than homes without dogs or with cats.

4 Tips for a Healthy Nursery
There are quick and easy steps we can take to minimize our exposures at home that don’t require much effort.

Six Steps For Finding Safer Pre-Natal Vitamins
Like most pregnant women, you’re probably taking pre-natal vitamins as part of a healthy pregnancy regimen but did you know that unlike drug products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not “approve” dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they are sold?

5 Non-Toxic Kitchen Cleaners You Should Know About

Healthy_Home_little_girl_sweeping_cleaning_kitchen_iStock_000007923570Small_Ralf Hettler

With the recent return of my husband’s cancer I have become even more picky (aka neurotic) about the chemicals that we use in our home. One of the places I’ve been wondering about keeping bacteria-free is the kitchen. I’m always worried about making sure that the cutting boards are properly cleaned and the counters sanitized after preparing meat or using raw eggs. The thought of using a toxic chemical cleaner anywhere near where I prepare food has always been totally out of the question. I’ve always just used scalding hot water and hoped it was enough to kill any bacteria left lying around. It always did a good job of burning the skin off my fingers. More »