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5 Ways Your Home May Silently be Influencing Your Kid's Health

teen room in a nice house

When you have kids, you fear for them all the time. Your job is to keep them safe and healthy, but it seems the world and their own minds have other plans. Walking through the door to your home each day feels like such a blessing. You breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you have so much more control in this environment.

However, that breath you just took could contain pollutants, and the rug your littlest is crawling on has dust mites and bacteria from your shoes. Looking around, your haven feels less and less safe. Most of these home problems are quite common and have easy fixes. So, breathe easier and roll up those sleeves. Let’s dig in.

  1. Choice of Paint Color

The paint hues you choose for your home can affect your child’s mood and even their heart rate. Thanks to color psychology, you can select the right paint color for each room based on the feelings you’d like to encourage. At the very least, you can avoid certain options detrimental to the room’s purpose.

For example, red is an energizing color that encourages movement and action. It can even increase your child’s heart rate and blood pressure. This color would be an acceptable choice for a home gym but wouldn’t work for a bedroom.

Blue and green are calming colors, perfect for any space where you want to amp up the relaxation. Yellow and orange are closer to red because they energize, encouraging joy, positivity and socialization.

  1. Access to Natural Light

All humans crave natural light — it’s in our DNA. When your child spends too much time indoors without access to sunshine, it can affect their mental and physical health. They need sunlight on their skin to absorb vitamin D, strengthening their bones and supporting their immune system. Even light through a window can give them more energy and ward off seasonal depression.

Improve your situation by using mirrors to bounce light around your living space. You can also invest in curtains you can open and shut easily to let the sun in when it’s up. A more drastic measure is to install more windows in your home. It’s a significant expense, but if you lack light, it could be worth it for your whole family’s health.

  1. The State of Their Toys

Do you often wish for fewer kids' toys as you go through the long and arduous process of putting them away each night or stepping on Legos for the sixth time this week? Odds are your kids feel the same way but don’t know how to express it. A messy playroom or bedroom can make their little minds go haywire, limiting their ability to play creatively, reducing attention spans and lowering emotional control.

In addition to toy overload, those same possessions could make your child physically ill. Unwashed playthings are a breeding ground for germs, especially if yours are at an age where they put things in their mouths, pick their nose, forget to cover their coughs or don’t wipe very well after the bathroom yet.

Solve both issues by thoroughly decluttering and cleaning everywhere you store their toys. Wipe everything down with non-toxic cleaners and wash any stuffies and dress-up clothes. As you clean, sort items into piles for donation, tossing and keeping. If your child is old enough to help, you can include them. Otherwise, just plow through on your own.

  1. Air Fresheners and House Cleaners

You spray air fresheners to keep the air in your home smelling nice, and you keep your home clean. You think you’re doing your best for their health and comfort, but these practices might do more harm than good.

Most scented air sprays and cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dangerous substances you can’t typically smell. Once released in your home, they can irritate your children’s noses, eyes and throats. Prolonged exposure can cause or exacerbate breathing problems, migraines and neurological issues. Swap your store-bought sprays and candles for essential oils or fresh air from a window. You can also ditch your chemical-laden cleaners for more natural options.

  1. Trapped Germs and Allergens

A cleaning routine is vital to your children’s health. Overlooked areas trap germs and allergens that compromise their immune systems and cause breathing problems.

Your home’s surfaces are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. You and your children bring home any number of these on your shoes, clothing, hands and body. Everything you touch can then become contaminated. Continued contact with these surfaces could cause your child to get sick. Negate this problem by frequently disinfecting your light switches and door handles. Wash your carpets occasionally and take your shoes off at the door.

Bedding, carpets and upholstery, like furniture and curtains, hang onto dust, releasing it into the air your child breathes. Reduce the load on their lungs by regularly washing these items and vacuuming your carpets.

Improve Health With Simple Changes

You may be overwhelmed by this list, but keep in mind many of us are “guilty” of these. Parenting and home ownership are both hard work. Add to that a job and social responsibilities, and you’re doing the best you can.

The best news is all of these dangers are fixable. With baby steps toward change, you can make your house feel safe again. Your whole family will be able to breathe easier and stay healthier.