There’s no escaping or denying the fact that we live in a toxic world.
And so do our kids.
Between the environmental pollutants, chemically laden personal care products, and foods that contain pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and other agricultural chemicals just to name a few — the exposure is real.
As a parent, it’s totally natural after one too many colds, skin reactions, or bouts of allergy and asthma attacks throughout the year to question whether or not there’s anything you can do to help alleviate the toxic burden in your child and possibly even detoxify them.
If you were the one experiencing a build-up of toxicities in your own body, you might feel inclined to jump on the detox train ASAP in order to help cleanse your system.
But, when it comes to your little ones, the big question at hand is…
IS IT SAFE FOR KIDS TO DETOX?
Not only is it safe for kids to detox, but it is extremely important for our children.
Again…because we are living in a toxic world.
Many of the patients I work with are surprised to learn that detoxification is a completely natural process and, given the right opportunity, is something that your body automatically does on a regular basis.
In fact, the entire detoxification system acts like an internal cleanser for the body and according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, in her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, she states:
“It constantly cleans out all the toxins produced as a result of normal body metabolism, as well as toxins arriving from the outside. Its headquarters are the liver and it has departments in every cell of the body. The sophistication and complexity of this system is staggering even to the most knowledgeable biochemists and there is a lot we still don’t know about how it works so efficiently.”
Unfortunately, what we do know is that for so many of us, our systems are so overloaded due to excess toxins that our bodies are no longer able to detoxify at an optimal level.
This is especially true of our kids.
Children are particularly vulnerable because they experience a much larger toxic overload when compared to adults in the same environment due to their smaller size and immature livers and detoxification pathways.
In addition, since their brains and immune systems are going through so many changes during periods of such rapid growth and development, IF they are unable to handle this toxic overload efficiently, it leaves them susceptible to the chronic conditions we currently see inflicting our children more and more each day.
These chronic conditions include asthma, allergies, eczema, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism, and a whole host of other autoimmune illnesses.
There’s no denying it.
The root cause of the increase of so many of these chronic conditions in our children is TOXICITY!
But before you purchase a ticket for your child in the seat next to you on the detox train, there are a few key points to understand in order to ensure that you are detoxifying your child safely.
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HOW TO SAFELY DETOX YOUR CHILD
Now that we have determined that detoxing is not only safe for our kids, but oftentimes necessary, it’s time to get started!
The beauty of helping your child detox in a safe and healthy way is that there are no special pills, potions, or programs.
While these are things most adults might even want to steer clear from while going through a detox, this especially holds true for children.
The goal of detoxing children is less about aggressive detox practices, but instead more about making lifestyle modifications in order to encourage a natural, gentle detoxification in your child.
Remember, detox is a normal process of the human body. Once the detoxification pathways are opened and functioning efficiently, then this process becomes second nature without us giving any additional thought to it.
But, sometimes a little extra help is needed to get things going in our overly toxic world.
Just as our children need extra support and encouragement to help them thrive, their detoxification systems need some support too!
15 WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD DETOX SAFELY
Here are 15 of my top tips to help your child(ren) start detoxifying today! Go ahead. Make it a family affair. I dare you!!!
- GUT HEALTH: Promoting good gut flora is essential to promoting good immune health. Since a great portion of the immune system resides in the gut, keeping it healthy allows the natural detoxification process to occur on a regular basis, and thus allows your child to better handle the daily toxins they may encounter.
- REAL FOOD MATTERS: Yes, this is where quality counts! It’s time to make sure the food going into little bodies is, well…food. Not simply food-like substances. Aim for real food made from real ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it — probably best to keep it away. Avoiding these overly processed foods and ditching sugars will help your child thrive!
- GET MOVING: Movement is a key factor to a healthy lifestyle. It not only helps keep both the mind and body healthy and strong, but also helps to sweat toxins out while encouraging gentle detox. Get your kids moving outside in the fresh air and sun to double the impact!
- DRINK WATER: Staying well hydrated is an essential component in flushing toxins from the body. Properly hydrating helps support natural detox in the body and enhances elimination (another key component to detoxing) as well. Unfortunately, most kids don’t drink as much water as their little bodies need and reach for sugary-laden beverages instead.
- SUNBATHE: Getting outside and getting just about 10-20 minutes of time in the sun before applying sunscreen during non-peak sun hours is essential for vitamin D production.This not only then supports the detoxification process, but helps strengthen overall immune and brain health as well.
- POOP!: There, I said it. Getting your kids regular is one of the most important things you can do support detox in their little bodies. Improving gut health, eating real food, paying attention to fruit and veggie intake (especially dark leafy greens), getting them moving, and making sure they’re getting enough magnesium in their diets can do wonders to get (and keep) things flowing!
- ANTIOXIDANT: SIt’s time to start loading your kids up on their fruits and veggies! These colorful treats pack a powerful antioxidant punch which support the liver and help with detox. Just make sure to choose organic produce whenever possible.
- JUICING: Juicing should be an essential part of any detox protocol. Now, especially with children, I am in no way recommending any sort of exclusive juice fast. However, alongside a healthy, well-balanced diet, juicing can certainly aid in the natural detoxification process. The vitamins and minerals present in the fruits and veggies you are extracting them from are not only highly digestible, but you can use certain fruits/veggies therapeutically in order to activate specific detox mechanisms.
- POWER OF PLAY: Specifically in the great outdoors. Well, I suppose it doesn’t have to be the great outdoors, but it’s definitely time to get your kids outside! Let them run around barefoot, climb trees, and ride their bikes. By getting them outside in (hopefully) fresh air and out in the sun — you help your child sweat out toxins, “ground” with the earth, and soak up vitamin D. All essential components in having healthy detoxification and immune systems.
- DETOX BATHS: While I have to admit I don’t always get all of my kids in the tub on the regular, when it comes to times when they need a little extra detox boost…yes, I do. By adding some epsom salt, baking soda, bentonite clay, etc. to your child’s bath — these special detox baths will help further promote detoxification though the skin.
- MASSAGE: Massage is a great way to promote the circulation of lymphatic fluids and thus speed the removal or metabolic waste throughout the body. And it feels good too! Lather your little one up with some coconut or sesame oil to also help nourish the skin without all the added toxins. There’s a good chance it help your little one get some good quality zzz’s as well! 😉
- SLEEP: While sleep might not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind, ensuring that your child has adequate sleep each night is an absolute must in supporting their natural detoxification system. A lack of quality sleep, or being sleep deprived, does not allow the brain or body to remove toxic waste byproducts that were accumulated throughout the day. Poor sleep quality has been linked to conditions such as anxiety, stress, and obesity.
- PLANTS: Alright, maybe this one is a bit of a stretch. But, just trust me, I have a point. By adding plants into your life and into your house, you help to detoxify the air within the home. By playing outdoors — among the plants — your child also reaps all the benefits of outdoor play. Green it up!
- STRESS LESS: Did you know that there’s an actual correlation between stress and the body’s detoxification system? It’s true! When we stress, hormones get released throughout our systems. Think — ‘fight or flight.’ The same happens for our kiddos. Once stress levels get too high and are no longer manageable, too many hormones are produced which the body can no longer process. This can then wreak havoc on both the nervous and immune systems. The solution? Following all of the other tips in this article will help ward off stress.
- REDUCE THE TOXIC LOAD: We’ve already discussed this as it applies to food. Eat real food with real ingredients. Choose quality and organic products whenever possible. But what about all the toxins lurking in our air, water, and everyday items such as household cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products? While it would be impossible to avoid all toxins — hello!, that’s why we have a detoxification system 😉 — doing your best to avoid chemically-laden products and opt for natural alternatives instead will make a world of difference.
Original post written: 7/15/19
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