6 Indoor Contaminants That Are Hazardous For Your Kids

Parents of small children routinely install baby gates, cabinet locks, and other safety products to protect their kids, but these won't eliminate all the potential threats in your home. Many dangers go unseen in the air, water, or dust around your house. Watch out for these contaminants in your living environment and take measures to identify and eliminate any issues as quickly as possible to protect your children's health.


Nitrates can be found in tap water, and from there make it into your baby's formula. Nitrates can leach into the water with runoff from fertilizer or from a septic field. If babies consume too many nitrates, they can get the potentially fatal "blue baby syndrome," so it's important to test your water and use an alternative to tap water when necessary.


Radon is an odorless gas that naturally comes up through the earth's crust. If the air pressure in your home is lower than the pressure in the foundation or basement slab, radon can enter. You can also encounter radon in well water. Test your home for radon to find out if this contaminant is present. Sealing the basement or installing a vapor barrier over the ground can resolve the problem.


Children are particularly sensitive to mold exposure. Mold causes flu-like symptoms, including headaches, muscle aches, and a sore throat. Keep a close eye out for any signs of mold growth in the home. You can also test the air for mold that may be concealed in the walls or ceiling and impacting your indoor air quality . Clean up any signs of mold immediately and always use an exhaust fan when cooking or showering to prevent future problems.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds are found in cleaning products, adhesives, new carpeting, particleboard furniture, paint, and many other places. Symptoms of VOC exposure include nausea, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, and cramps. Look for low or no-VOC alternatives to keep your children from these airborne hazards.


If you live in an older home, your children may be exposed to lead in old paint or dust from old paint. If your home has old pipes, you may also find lead in your tap water as a result of corrosion. Continuous exposure can hinder mental and physical development in children. Test chipping or peeling paint as well as your water to make sure this contaminant is not present in your home.

Microbial Contaminants

Microbial containments are found in fecal waste from both humans and animals. Unsanitary diaper changing practices are a common source of this type of contamination. A leaking septic system or feedlot runoff may contaminate your water. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most common symptoms associated with exposure. If the contamination is in your water, boiling will resolve the issue. Following proper hygiene practices can eliminate problems in other parts of the home.

Be mindful of the unseen hazards that can lurk in your home and take action to make sure you're providing a safe and healthy family environment that's free from these indoor contaminants.

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