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Surprising Places And Products That Are Harmful To Children

Updated on September 1, 2016

You can take your child to a petting zoo or farm and expect him to contract Escherichia coli, E. coli. This is per a recent report handed down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Apparently, some individuals, after visiting these places, became ill and ultimately were taken to the hospital for extensive care.

Better Management Of Petting Zoos And Farms

As you take your child to any place that allows interaction with animals, the managers of these establishment must have precautionary measures within their general operation that will protect the public from infection. Venues allowing close contacts of animals with the public should also post signs indicating the risk of infection and the importance of good hygiene after close contact with any animal.

Better Public Awareness

Many are not aware of the risk of E. coli infection. The CDC declares that there are over 73,000 individual illnesses, of these illnesses 2,000 were treated and 60 died. The agency after putting together this report of public infection is now partnering with U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as with the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. These agencies unanimous advocate that all petting zoos and farms have eating areas away from animals. After animals are handled, facilities should have visible and accessible areas for hand washing. Signs reminding the public, in particular parents, to prevent their children from placing their fingers in their month after handling the animals, should be strategically displayed. If the facility does not display signs, there should be flyers or brochures on preventive care after interaction with animals.

Tege & baby pig CC by Flickr
Tege & baby pig CC by Flickr | Source

Other Harmful Exposure

One does not just have to look to the petting zoo and farm as potential areas to be dangerous for children. Apparently, many on-the-market products expose children to over 123 unsafe substances. When these toxic products are ingested by children via mouth or skin they are susceptible to allergies, frequent infections, and the cold. In one of the 2008 issue of the Journal Pediatrics, a report relayed that infant and children products such as shampoo, lotion and powder contain toxin. In particular, these products are known to contain phthalates. This toxin is believed to effect boys and their reproductive system. Many express frustration as to why this chemical is allowed in infant and children products in the United State but, prohibited in other countries. “Personal care products” are not regulated by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consequently, companies can use substances at will. It is grave error that manufacturing companies that produce care items and cosmetic are not obligated to test for safety before placing them on the market.

No Regulations

Granting that the FDA does not regulate the above products, a not for profit organization called the Environmental Working Group regularly monitors the use of noxious elements in care products used by infant and children care. This advocacy group reports the daily average of chemical ingested by children is 60 and, phthalates is in 72 of these brand products. Since there is no federal agency to standardize items used in infant and children products, the use of these substances is considered a legal way of doing business. Therefore, if your child uses various care products he is most likely to be excessively exposed to toxins like phthalates and many other chemicals that are just as harmful.

Visiting the sheep CC by Flickr
Visiting the sheep CC by Flickr | Source

More on Phthalates

In addition to the above mentioned products, phthalates is also present in hair spray, soap and nail polish. This chemical also impacts a woman’s reproductive system and can cause birth issues. New research found that unborn babies can develop “Phthalate Syndrome”, where the male reproductive tract is rendered ineffective. The study declared, when the boys are repeatedly exposed to this chemical, as they grow into men they are at risk of having tumors in their testes.

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Artificial Substance

Other toxic chemicals present in some infant and children merchandise are man made dyes, BHT, preservatives, salicylates and perfume. These and many other substances in what we use on our children are known to result in ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, autism, asthma, and eczema. Your child’s “bubble gum” toothpaste contain sodium lauryl sulfate. It is an “inactive ingredient” that can cause allergies and sores. This component used in shampoos, and bubble bath is also a commercial substance used to clean car engines. Saccharin, artificial sweetener, in your child’s toothpaste can be just as harmful. Saccharin was once removed from the market, but is today an element in many for sale items.

Smile CC by Flickr
Smile CC by Flickr | Source

Harmful Natural Elements

Natural oils are also proven to be toxic to children. Some essential oils such and lavender and tea tree are harmful to infants and children. Certain herbs are just as harmful. Before using oils and herbs in connection with your children make the necessary inquiries, these elements have natural components that are specific only to adults. Experts in the essential oil industry know that lavender and tea tree oil are harsh substances that should not be used directly or indirectly with children.

The concern for toxicity also extends to young teenagers as they begin their use of cosmetics. Again one wonders why the federal government does not regulate the manufacturing of personal products. Most parents just assume that these products are regulated and are often blind sighted when their children become ill from the use of a product. Consequently, as parents it is vital to scrutinize the ingredients in the category of products used on our children. The rule of purchase is if you do not recognize the ingredients don’t put it in your cart. Moreover, as parents we must be vigilant with what our children come in contact with. We should never assume and always be proactive so that our children do not become victims of a negligent society.


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    • Flipsgeraldine profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Marshall 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      FlorishAnyway those tiny bottles of oil, tea tree or otherwise are packed with potency and is often too strong in its pure state to be used by adults, so they can be very harmful to children.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      Excellent information. I didn't know tea tree oil is so potentially harmful.

    • Flipsgeraldine profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Marshall 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Grace Marshall glad you read the article. Its all about keeping parents informed.

    • profile image

      Grace Marshall 

      3 years ago

      I didn't know bubble gum was so harmful

    • Flipsgeraldine profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvette Marshall 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      RTalloni, I appreciate your comment.

    • RTalloni profile image


      3 years ago from the short journey

      Timely encouragement that everyone can be use as a springboard for more research in best ways to help keep children safe.


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