Friday, January 15, 2010

The Green Baby-Part 3- Play time and conclusions

Children are exposed to a lot more than what they eat. They are always sticking stuff in their mouths. If 2007 lead paint scare taught us nothing, we should be at least weary that there is no legislation to regulate the manufacture of lead based toys.

The author of the book Growing up Green, recommends sticking with a few good toys rather than bombarding our children with a ton of toys that aren't good for them. She suggests wooden ones with natural lacquers. She says not to use battery-operated toys because batteries are not good for the environment. She also suggests not using teething rings because the plastic is harmful for the babies. She says metal toy trains and metal costume jewelry is bad. And she warns against using things like keys and make-up as toys. She says to look for toys that don't have PVC, phthalate, and foraldehyde. She also encourages parent to buy toys made in the US. We have stricter guidelines, we would be using less fossil fuels to ship toys, and we would be supporting jobs on our own soil.

For older children, exercise should be incorporated into their lives rather than tv and video games (my hubby is cringing I can see it now; I love you but you know you like your video games). She suggests sports or other types of organized fitness, but also for moments of free play. Unlike adults, children should have frequent and short bursts of physical activity. Simply taking a child outside to play or going for family walks is awesome.

Teens should strive to use healthy personal care products, eat a healthy diet, and incorporate exercise as well.

Conclusions: I like many of the ideas that the author proposes. Many of them I have heard in the news and in various parent magazines that I've read in the waiting room. Some of the food items are little tricky for me, but I think it will be easy to try and buy organic for my child before going nuts with myself. Plus hopefully in a year or two our income will be such that our food budget can increase. Other things like investing in good toys and staying informed about vaccines and illness prevention are no brainers. It's a lot cheaper to buy a humidifier and use home remedies than it is to make constant trips to the doctor. The only concern I may run into is trying to convince the grandparents not to go overboard with cheap plastic battery-operated toys (my mom informed me that she found a sound toy that she already likes *sigh*). I also may have to fight with the pediatrician in the hospital. But it's like Ms. Imus (the author) said, if you doctor won't bother to answer your questions or tries to convince you otherwise find another doctor. Same with nurses. If they say they don't have the insert of the vaccine, pick your stuff up and leave. All vaccines have an insert just like any other medication. Children don't need all those vaccines at once. My child is very unlikely going to be exposed in the first two months of life to HepB. It's just that simple. And chicken pox did not kill me. And measles did not kill my mom.


  1. Agreed... but pointing out something you said about toys that will be an issue. Family. They will bombard you with toys and its about impossible to stick w/ only wooden/organic/eco friendly toys without being rude or coming across as nutty.. at least in my experience. But... I'm already the oddball out... and I just couldn't manage. You might have much better luck (I really hope so). Kalila has way too many toys and most of them are not my first choice. I think I am going to try to stick to the good stuff for teething toys this time... prioritize.

    Vax's.. I have a blog post on uncut in the making on that. I want to delay this time. Couldn't talk Jas into it last time but I've done more research since and think I have a better shot this time. Is good that you have the info you do now so you wont have the regrets I do. Thankfully he's on board with the ones I don't want though lol. Unfortunately Kalila did get the chickenpox and soon after (thinking we had time to research it when we didn't) I realized we did not want that one and was too late. Still unhappy about that.

  2. There's no point in getting the chicken pox vaccine. I know a lot of children who receive the vaccine and then later get a milder form of chicken pox so it really doesn't work so great. And they don't give it to you unless your over the age of 1 when your immune system can handle the virus. I would think a young infant would need the vaccine more, but I'm not a doctor. You might as well let them get the full thing of chicken pox.

    Plus my mom got shingles recently, which is caused by the same virus as chicken pox. She was telling me that they have great medicines out there now that help with the symptoms. So shingles doesn't last for months anymore. My dad had shingles back in the 80s and said it was awful.

    I think it's like that for a lot of these vaccines. They are supposed to help with erradicating non-deadly childhood illnesses. Some like polio, I think are resonable to vaccinate against, but others are silly. Even the HPV vaccine isn't proven to be fully affective. So why give it? But that's my opinion. I'm sure that I will have to fight the doctor on the whole vaccine thing. Oh, well. I just hope that by avoiding certain vaccines my kid's school won't throw a fit about enrollment. The school district that I currently live in requires a chicken pox vaccine unless you can prove immunity or its against your beliefs.

  3. Since you brought it up (lol I forgot) chicken pox vax actually increases risk of shingles! Is one reason I have an issue with it... and not only does it not always work,out but its one that you have to get boosters for throughout your life and its live so you can get sick from it. My cousins daughter did. Now... at 1 that's fine... what happens at 20 or 30 when its more dangerous to get cp? I don't want to set my kids up for that... That's why I'm so unhappy that I dropped the ball on that one.

    Another fairly ineffective one is the one that for whooping cough.. my fully vaxed neice got it last summer and we looked it up. The vax is 59 to 80 something percent effective. Lovely.

  4. It only goes to show you that it's better to have your kid test for immunities than to totally rely on the vaccine. Yikes! I hope that your niece didn't have any residule affects.

    Oh, and chicken pox. The first thing my OB asked was if I had chicken pox. I told her yes. (Got em when I was ten. Not a fun experience my grandmother died the same week). She said "good. that's one less thing we have to worry about." I also told her that I had mono a couple of years back. So my kid is currently "immunized" against chicken pox and mono and will be for a while because breast milk secreats the immunities. My hubby has never had mono but has been around people who have (including me). I think maybe I'll prod him to go see if he is immune to it or not.

  5. You can get immune from getting mono? I had it several times as a kid... For a little over a year I'd get over mono just to catch strep throat and get over that to catch mono again. It was awful. I haven't had it since then though...

    My neice is fine btw... She's 4 so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Put her family through a lot though... they couldn't go out and a friend who'd been over had to have her pedi contacted. The nurse treated my cousin (the mom) horribly because she assumed my neice wasn't vaxed.

  6. There's no vaccine for mono. It's like chicken pox. Once you get it you have it forever and if your immune system gets down it can come back and be cronic. Ebstein-Barr syndrome is what they call it when it reoccurs.

    Oh the nurse thing is horrible. People can be so nasty without knowing all the facts. I suppose the vaccine helped keep it from getting worse, but still... Not fun for your niece. I bet she didn't understand what was going on. Although who knows kids at that age are pretty perceptive.


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!