PANDAS Stole My Child

girl jumpingI guess it was inevitable. Steep yourself in information about rates of childhood illnesses spiking to epidemic proportions, and you’re bound to become a maternal hypochondriac. But when my then four-year-old daughter first displayed symptoms of serious illness, I panicked. And as it turns out, my panic was justified.  [Read more…]

Nix Toxic Pink Soap in Schools

young girl in school bathroom holds up sudsy hands as boys wash hands behind herIn 2012, the CDC’s annual assessment of schools discussed green cleaning for the first time ever. “Children are more vulnerable than adults to hazardous environmental exposures because, compared to adults, they breathe more air, eat more food, and drink more water per pound of body weight,” the report states. “A school that…[is] free of hazardous chemicals, and clean is arguably best equipped to support student and teacher health, learning, and overall productivity.”

And while most of this is good news—more than 36% of districts now purchase low-VOC paints, cleaners and floor coverings, 55% require that schools test drinking water for lead, and more than 50% pursue an integrated pest management policy designed to reduce the use of pesticides—some is not. Especially the news about pink soap. [Read more…]

My Not-So-Natural Childbirth Story

SONY DSCI share a lot of questions with pregnant and new moms. But most of the questions begin with, “Was it like that for you?” So I thought I would dedicate this post to sharing with you exactly what it was for me, giving birth for the first—but definitely not last—time. [Read more…]

How to Avoid Chemicals Linked to Autism

latino nurse giving african american girl an injectionIn case you haven’t noticed, there’s a serious debate going on among parents about whether or not vaccinations cause autism. And no wonder, as the numbers keep going up: New statistics from the CDC show that autism now affects a staggering one in 68 kids and jumped more than 400% in 20 years. Everyone wants to know why. And a recent study brings new evidence to support the theory that our environment—not our vaccines—is causing the autism spike. [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Eco Rules

teenaged boy wearing jeans with bare feet up on couchRemember that house, back in high school? It wasn’t your house, but you felt comfortable enough to put your feet up on the furniture. It wasn’t your mom, but you talked to her sometimes about what was going on in your life. Sometimes an afternoon turned into dinner turned into movie night with the family. You knew where they kept the cereal, and got your own bowl.

That’s my house.

It could be because my kids are well-liked and well-adjusted—or it could be that we’re a three-block walk from the mall. But most afternoons, the doorbell rings and a gaggle of teenagers troops in. By evening, there are boys playing guitar in my son’s room, and girls practicing dance routines in my daughter’s. My little one runs between, pestering both.

It does get loud, but I love having a full house. What I don’t love, however, is how with other kids around my own forget the eco rules I’ve taught them. I try to keep my reminders light, but at the end of the day I’m nagging—both my own and somebody else’s kids. These are my eco rule pet peeves! [Read more…]

Easy DIY Natural Easter Basket

purple, pink, blue and yellow dyed easter basket eggsAre your Easter bunny plans in order? Try these tips to create a more natural Easter Basket this year that’s healthier for kids. Many egg dyes contain chemicals that aren’t safe for kids— including food dyes linked to ADHD and hyperactivity. But in minutes you can make dyes from frozen fruits and veggies that are already in your freezer. Then fill your upcycled Easter basket with truly natural chocolates, and deliver a healthier surprise this holiday. [Read more…]

Are Our Kids Canaries in the Coal Mine?

I’ve been doing a lot more speaking lately, most recently at an early childhood group in Los Angeles. And I’ve also created a video—the Mommy Greenest Manifesto—that shares some of these concepts, as well. But I thought you might want to click through the information that I share in my talk. There’s a lot more to learn, but from this slideshow you can get the gist of it: Just like the metaphoric canaries in a coal mine, our kids are getting sick from chemicals in our environment. But there are few things you can do today to make our world a little bit safer for children. What do you think? Are these changes you’ve made—or plan to? I’d love to read your comments and hear your perspective. Thank you!

 

3 Questions to Ask if You’re Pregnant

doctor puts stethoscope on pregnant bellyPregnant? Get ready for the god complex. Every mom I know talks about the saint that delivered her baby. The doctor’s word is taken as law, and heaven forbid your birth partner suggest otherwise. But are you and your doctor truly in sync?

In 2012, a University of San Francisco study of more than 2,000 obstetricians and gynecologists nationwide found that although they routinely discuss smoking, alcohol, diet and weight gain, most doctors do not warn their patients about environmental hazards as related to pregnancy. [Read more…]