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Tips for Raising a Healthy Child (National Child Health Day)

By Melissa Summers

Is anyone starting to notice how the fall seems really focused on health and wellness holidays? Because there was family dinner night, which as we discussed, is supposed to cure cancer. I think that’s what I read anyway. Then there’s Family Health and Fitness day and Breast Cancer Awareness and oh! What’s this? Today is National Child Health Day.

National Child Health Day was founded in 1928 by President Coolidge to bring public awareness to various health issues facing children.

The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition is an organization with a mission to: “educate parents and all those concerned with the welfare of children about preventable health and development problems caused by exposures to toxic substances in homes, schools and communities and to empower the public to take action to protect children against these toxic threats.”

They’re pursuing this mission by lobbying government and corporations for policy changes which protect children from environmental hazards. They’re also teaching the public about safer practices and products for the home. They’ve launched a blog to accomplish this goal where they’ll offer 90 tips in 90 days, and the launch of the blog coincides with Child Health Day, which is working out well for me.

The Internet knows I’m nothing if not a realist, so while I’m willing to do some things to encourage the health and wellness of my family: I recycle religiously, I reuse often, I don’t smoke, I exercise. I’m not going to do so much my kids end up wrapped in plastic wrap. Although, just think how quiet they’d be…..

The principal behind the CHEC’s blog though is that small things make a huge difference.

I’m sure in the next 90 days I’ll scoff at some of the tips outlined, because that’s just how I am. But really, does anyone think it’s a great idea to let your kids gnaw on your car keys? I mean, yes sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. While hurtling down the freeway with my daughter screaming in the backseat for the last 35 minutes, I often fantasized about pulling my eyeballs from my face to let her gnaw on. I would have, if it would have made her stop crying. So really, keys probably aren’t that bad in comparison. However, besides being really dirty, most brass keys contain lead.

“Here’s your lead teething ring darling.”

Tip #3 is also very simple, giving a natural alternative for wood polish which can contain petroleum distillates. You can use Castile oil soap to clean your varnished wood. For painted wood, mix 1 teaspoon of washing soda in a gallon of hot water. For unvarnished wood you can use almond, olive or walnut oil rubbing it into the wood and wiping off any excess.

I have an even easier alternative: just don’t really polish anything! That’s my route and don’t believe my husband when he tells you I’m just a careless housekeeper. It’s absolutely that I’m trying to protect my kids from petroleum distillates.



Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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I am so friggin lazy as soon as I ever see the words “mix with” or “equal parts of” my eyes glaze over and I reach for the ammonia. (Which I find highly effective if you use it with bleach, by the way.)
Also, your plastic wrapped children recommendation is brilliant.


I don’t even know what washing soda is, nor have I ever polished anything. But now? I feel much better about my laziness because I am being environmentally responsible. right?

Isabel Kallman
Isabel Kallman

Okay, without getting all preachy and finger-wagging… buy environmentally-friendly all-in-one products instead. They are readily available.