Detox Your Medicine Cabinet

March 18, 2008 10:56:25 AM PDT
Recent studies have shown that toxins commonly found in shampoos, lotions and powders may expose children to chemicals. A chemical-laden medicine chest is filled with antibiotics, cortisones and nanoparticles that are commonly found in many products including sunscreens. These ingredients can be hazardous to your health and are clearly an environmental no-no. Dr. Alan Greene, pediatrician, author of 4 books including the recently published "Raising Baby Green" and professor at Stanford University School of Medicine has some advice on how to clean up and "green" up medicine cabinet:

For a cold: Throw out those pediatric decongestants and antihistamines. They are ineffective and can even be dangerous. Try natural home remedies like:

  • Saline nose drops like Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist. This will loosen mucus and can have a gentle decongestant and antiviral effect.
  • A vaporizer or humidifier. It helps thin mucus, allowing for easier discharge.
  • For anyone over age 3, try organic cough drops like Organix Organic Cough and Sore Throat Drops or, for over age one, a spoonful of honey.

Ear Infections: Ear infections are the #1 reason for antibiotic prescriptions in kids, but often misdiagnosed. To help combat resistance:

  • See if there is fluid in the middle ear first with EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor. Fluid build-up is a key sign of an ear infection.
  • All natural ear drops or warm baby or olive oil can help combat discomfort. Similasan Earache Relief drops can be purchased over the counter.

Teething pain: Instead of Benzocaine, which can be just as irritating to babies as the pain itself, try:

  • Organic teethers moistened and cooled in the freezer.
  • Simply massaging the gums will also often soothe sore gums.

Diaper Rash: Get rid of ointments and lotions with harsh or unproven chemicals and try:

  • Fresh air! As often as practical, allow your little one to go diaper-free & change diapers frequently
  • Try soothing zinc diaper balm or an A, D, and E ointment made without harsh chemicals
  • Look for products made by companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics
  • Instead of antibacterial soaps, try Clean Well, a sanitizer that kills 99.90% of germs naturally.

Recommended products:

  • Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist- Walgreen's $5.99
  • Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler- CVS $29.99
  • Organix Organic Cough and Sore Throat Drops ? Walgreen's $3.49
  • EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor- Wal-Mart $58.97
  • Similasan Earache Relief Drops- Walgreen's $9.99
  • Clean Well All-Natural Hand Sanitizer (1 oz travel size) ? Whole Foods $2.99

More tips from Dr. Greene:

Understand the Label: Toluene in nail treatments can cause harm to pregnant women. Is there mercury mascara? What's with the lead acetate in hair color?

Don't be Fooled: "Hypoallergenic" is a word that does not have to be verified and "Organic" can be used if only 1 percent of the content is of organic origin.

More Information: