It’s an unfortunate truth: we live in a dangerous world. Raising children has never been an easy task, but it’s made especially difficult by all the hazards parents need to look out for.
Quite a few dangers frequently slip past parents’ radars. The consequences of ignoring such hazards can be devastating, including everything from illness to death. Keep an eye out for the following five dangers faced by today’s kids.
Have you been assuming the water from your tap is safe for drinking? Think again! Tap water may be perfectly safe in certain locales, but budget cuts in other areas have resulted in less-than-drinkable water. For some, the solution is a simple transition to bottled water. Unfortunately, bottled water can be incredibly expensive, making it out of reach for any family on a budget. No worries though — the simple solution to this quandary is to invest in a good water filter. Your new filter will remove contaminants such as mercury and even arsenic from your water without costing you a fortune.
Another reason to switch to water filters: many water bottles are just as bad for kids as unfiltered tap water. Many water bottles contain Bisphenol A, an organic compound linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and birth defects. Bisphenol A is not just found in disposable water bottles; it’s also frequently used in the manufacturing of reusable bottles. Get around this problem by doing your research and finding products free of Bisphenol A. Otherwise, stainless steel water bottles are usually safe.
High fructose corn syrup
Check the ingredient list on just about any package of processed food and you’re bound to see high fructose corn syrup near the top. Studies suggest this sweetener can be particularly harmful for children, often leading them down the road to obesity. Another less-publicized risk involves the presence of mercury in high fructose corn syrup. A National Institute of Health study found mercury in more than half of the high fructose corn syrup samples tested.
Juice is often assumed to be inherently healthy, but excessive consumption actually plays a large role in the current trend towards childhood obesity. In fact, some researchers suggest drinking fruit juice — even 100 percent juice — is every bit as unhealthy as drinking soda. It may even be less healthy than soda. Ounce for ounce, juice is higher in calories than most types of soda. Nutritionists suggest skipping the juice altogether and handing your child a healthy apple instead.
The obvious rationale for avoiding sticky candy is it’s high in calories and frequently contains high fructose corn syrup. This type of candy can also lead to tooth decay, an issue researchers point to as the number one health concern among children. Difficult to clean out while brushing and flossing, sticky candy ultimately breaks down into enamel-consuming bacteria, leading to an increase in cavities.
As you can see, many of the greatest dangers kids face are seemingly innocent. Don’t let that fool you! Keep a watch on your children’s diets to ensure they’re protected from harmful contaminants and additives.