By Carly Harrill, Healthy Child Staff

Childproofing is a family universal. There are electrical outlets to cover, medicine cabinets to lock, and knives and other potentially sharp materials to stash far from prying fingers. All of this is critical, but for the majority of families, this is where the process begins and ends. Which is too bad, because it misses out entirely on the many environmental hazards to safeguard against—think of it as greenproofing.

Environmental toxins have a disproportionately large effect on babies and kids; children’s developing bodies are much more vulnerable to the cellular havoc they can wreak.

Some greenproofing comes easily. It’s pretty simple to banish synthetic pesticides and to replace chemical cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives. Done and done. The real trick lies in tackling less obvious dangers like these:

Here are a few other ideas from some like-minded bloggers:

Jennifer at Healthy Choices Happy Tots reminds those of us living in homes built before 1978 to be on the lookout for flaking paint that could contain lead. When it comes to traditional childproofing, she also suggests choosing cabinet locks, corner guards, and outlet covers free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates.

Generation Pure’s Certified greenproofer, Natalia Lazarus, says not to forget baby’s bedroom furniture, which can off-gas toxins and release flame retardant chemicals. She recommends an organic, Greenguard-certified mattress and organic bedding.

Have any additional greenproofing ideas? Add them in comments.

Changes like these will keep your baby safer—and they’re great for the rest of the family, too.

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