Why is safe detoxification so important for your child?
Over 50% of our kids are currently diagnosed with a chronic condition – whether it’s eczema, asthma, allergies, ADHD, autism, anxiety, autoimmune illness, cancer, or some other disease. Yup – you heard me right. OVER 1 in 2 kids! And by 2025, that number is expected to be 80%!
One of the major root causes for this increase in chronic illness in our children is:
Pound for pound – kids breathe more air, drink more water, and eat more food. They experience a larger burden of toxins everyday compared with adults in the very same environment. Infants and teenagers are uniquely vulnerable to toxins. Their livers and detoxification routes aren’t fully matured to be able to handle their toxic burden efficiently. And their brains and immune systems are changing so rapidly that toxic hits during these times of rapid development can have long-lasting impacts. In our modern world, our children face a lifetime of chronic, ongoing toxic exposures, from inside our wombs, and throughout the rest of their lives. This argues against aggressive detox measures, and instead, calls for safe, gentle daily detox. We need to make…
DETOX A LIFESTYLE
We need to remember that our bodies, and our children’s bodies, are designed to eliminate toxins –through sweat, pee, and poop, and even through our breath and our thoughts. If toxins enter our bodies faster than our elimination routes can get rid of them, they’ll fill up our so-called “Inflammation Bucket,” until our bucket eventually overflows. Signs of illness will eventually show up wherever the blockage has occurred – whether it’s the skin as with eczema; lungs with asthma; brain with autism, ADHD or anxiety; gut with constipation or reflux; joints with arthritis; thyroid with Hashimoto’s; or immune system with PANS/PANDAS, autoimmune illness or cancer.
The key to a healthy, happy child who can thrive in our modern “toxic” world is to understand the many different ways to keep our children’s Inflammation Bucket from overflowing.
The ideal situation would be, of course, to prevent toxins from filling their bucket in the first place (I’ll discuss in my next blog post the most important toxins to avoid for your kids and how to do it). But in the meantime, here are my:
Top 10 Tips for Making Detox a Lifestyle for Your Children:
- Spend at least 10-20 minutes outdoors in the sun during non-peak sun hours, before applying sunscreen – preferably before 11am or after 4pm. The “Sunshine Vitamin” – Vitamin D – has countless health benefits including supporting detoxification, brain health and immune health.
- Run around and break a sweat! Sweating releases toxins through our lymphatic system and is one of the best ways to get those toxins out.
- Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb for baseline fluid needs – divide your child’s weight in pounds by half, and that’s how many ounces they should be drinking daily. Add MORE on those super hot and sweaty days. And better yet, stay hydrated with electrolyte-containing fluids like coconut water or bone broth to replace the minerals lost through sweating.
- Get regular. Pooping is one of our most important detox methods. Increase the dark leafy greens and magnesium if your child needs a little extra help. And if your child needs a little more help with constipation, read my blog post Oh, Crap!
- Load up on all those summer fruits and veggies! That rainbow of colors really does pack in antioxidant detox super power! But make sure that you’re choosing organic produce so you’re not filling up your child’s bucket inadvertently with glyphosate (Roundup pesticide) – glyphosate is a major cause of leaky gut and resulting gut and immune dysregulation in our kids.
- Swap out those sugars. Instead of reaching for sugary artificially-colored popsicles, have real-fruit no-sugar-added popsicles and other wholesome treats on hand! Sugar puts a load on our kids’ livers that can interfere with proper detoxification and lead to irreversible non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD) which is unfortunately increasingly common in our kids.
- Chill out! Use the summer to instill a practice of mindfulness and gratitude for the whole family. Psychological stress IS a toxin and fills up our Inflammation Bucket as much as any physical toxin. Learning how to manage our stress to reduced inflammation and toxicity is just as important for our children as it is for us. My favorite tools for kids include Dawn Huebner’s books What to Do When You Worry Too Much and Outsmarting Worry, and the apps “Breathe for Kids,” “Calm,” and “Insight Timer.”
- Nourish those good gut bugs. Probiotics have countless benefits. Among the most important is helping our gut detoxify toxic chemicals like heavy metals, pesticides, and bisphenol A (BPA). Load up on fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, kombucha and kefir. And if needed, take a probiotic supplement like Klaire Ther-biotic Complete powder or capsules. If you need help finding the right probiotic for your child, be sure to download my FREE GUIDE to “Choosing Your Child’s Probiotic.”
- Get your glutathione on! Glutathione is one of our liver’s most important detox compounds. Increase glutathione naturally with epsom salt baths and yummy cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale – perfect to throw into a delicious summer salad!). And if needed, choose a liposomal glutathione supplement like Readisorb Liposomal Glutathione liquid, Researched Nutritionals Trifortify gel, or Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Glutathione capsules.
- Get enough zzzz’s. Even with the late nights of summer, make sure that you plan for a good night’s sleep when your kids’ brain is doing some heavy-duty detox and learning!
Here’s to a lifetime of health and happiness for your child. By making detoxification a lifestyle, you’ll help your child thrive! And don’t despair if your child’s Inflammation Bucket has already overflowed and he/she is sick with a chronic illness. Working with a pediatric functional medicine and holistic practitioner can guide your child safely through a detox and healing program to help them thrive again!