No matter which house, or which child, my kids’ bedrooms have always been one of my favorite spaces in the house. And as they get older, they get to put their own personalities into their bedrooms, while I still keep it consistent with a healthy kids room in terms of toxins and products.
As they transition from baby to toddler to big kid, their bedrooms have also changed with them. We’re now entering pre-teen territory and I see even more changes for the future of the healthy kids room spaces in my home.
I will say that it can be tricky to navigate the décor, the bedding and the furniture of these rooms, while keeping it not only low toxin, but also giving my kids some say in the design of the space. I am in awe of just how many healthy products and furniture pieces there are if you’re trying to create a healthy kids room though. The trick is knowing how to search for pieces and what brands you can trust when you’re designing your healthy kids room.
Brand transparency is one of the TOP things I look for when I’m doing research on a new material or product for our home. If a brand is up front and honest about what they’re offering you, there’s little to question. But when it becomes difficult to find out ingredients, materials or information about the company, I know that I may want to steer clear.
Brand transparency makes it incredibly possible to create a healthy kids room that is as low-toxin as possible. It’s one of the best ways to help determine if a product is healthy. Brands like Rugs By Roo make it easy to find out information about them and their products. It’s because of this that you can trust the validity of their claims as well as their products.
Our kids’ spaces are extremely important to their health and wellness. Kids are not just mini adults – they’re systems are underdeveloped and can be extremely susceptible to the toxins that we introduce to them. Having a healthy kids room for your child can play a huge role in not only their development, but their health as an adult as well.
The information I’m sharing here will help you understand some of the toxins in typical products for kids rooms and the components that you can look for to create a healthy kids room in your own home.
TOXINS IN KIDS PRODUCTS AND DECOR
As I mentioned before, kids are not just miniature adults. Our systems are fully developed and capable of filtering out toxins while protecting other organs from being affected. Children, on the other hand, have an undeveloped blood-brain barrier that allows many toxins to pass through before getting filtered out.
Children also have thinner and less dense skin and skeletal systems, meaning toxins can be absorbed at a more efficient rate in comparison to us as adults.
And if you have kids, you know that kids have much different hand-to-mouth habits in comparison to us as adults too. (Please tell me I’m not the only mom asking my kids to keep their hands off their faces and out of their mouths on a consistent basis?!) But it’s this habit that creates the perfect avenue for toxin exposure as they ingest toxic house dust more frequently than anyone else.
Another consideration when it comes to toxins, is that our kids spend a large portion of their day and night in their bedrooms. If you have the opportunity to create a healthy kids room, you can minimize greatly minimize their exposure to some of the big toxins that are in most kids rooms:
Flame Retardants: Flame retardants are added to textiles, mattresses, rugs and other components of kids room items. Flame retardants have been shown to increase the likelihood of aggression and defiance in kids (STUDY) as well as delay their neurological function, cognitive development and problem solving skills (STUDY).
Flame retardants have also been linked to weakened immune systems (STUDY) , thyroid and adrenal gland irregularities (STUDY) and problems with reproductive organs. (STUDY). On top of all these other issues, flame retardants are a known carcinogen and have been linked to an increased risk in thyroid cancer, the fastest increasing cancer in the US currently. (STUDY)
Phthalates: Phthalates are found in plastic and vinyl toys, plastic furniture, vinyl flooring, wallpaper and vinyl blinds. What we know is that often children’s exposure is well over the EPAs allotted “safe limit” of phthalates (STUDY). Phthalates have been linked to neurological toxicity in kids as well as have adverse impacts on neurodevelopment, including lower IQ, problems with attention and hyperactivity and poorer social communication. (STUDY)
Phthalates also disrupt the endocrine system and can cause issues with thyroid, immune function and the reproductive process. (STUDY)
Pesticides: Pesticides can be found in any sort of textile or fabric that you bring into your kids room. Pesticide exposure has been linked to increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD (STUDY) as well as an increased risk of childhood cancer (STUDY).
Pesticides have also been shown to disrupt the body’s natural endocrine function and have potential to disrupt natural development in kids and babies. (STUDY)
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a VOC and is found in anything from furniture to pillows, bedding and upholstery products. It is in SO many places around our homes and in our kids rooms. Some of the big health concerns that go along with formaldehyde are an increased risk of cancer and disruption to healthy cell development in the body. (STUDY)
Formaldehyde has also been linked to issues in neurodevelopment of the brain and development of the pulmonary system in general. (STUDY)
VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds are present in many materials and options we bring into our homes: furniture, carpet, flooring, upholstery and cleaning products. There are HUNDREDS of VOCs both in nature and in our home, and it’s impossible to remove them all — but you can certainly reduce them drastically.
This blog post lists the 9 most harmful VOCs in your home, but it’s important to know that most of them damage the kidneys and liver, disrupt the endocrine system and can cause respiratory issues in children. Many of them are also carcinogenic in nature.
Polyvinyl Chloride: Often times referred to as PVC, polyvinyl chloride is another material that is in SO many of our day to day items and materials. It can be found in strollers, car seats, window shades and frames, high chairs, carpet backing, mattress covers and most plastic or vinyl materials.
HEALTHY KIDS ROOM PICKS
By finding products that are free from the toxins mentioned above, you can create a beautiful, safe place that supports your child’s health and wellness.
Rugs by Roo: As I’ve been on my own healthy house journey, I have learned so much and I’ve come to appreciate businesses that are owned and run with our health and our world’s health in mind. Rugs by Roo is just that type of company, which is why I absolutely adore them.
Not only are their rugs toxin free, but they’re also practical. Sandy Wong, the owner of Rugs by Roo is a mom and knows how important functional rugs are. She’s made it easy for us all to find washable, toxin free rugs for our home and kids spaces.
And can we just talk about her social mission for a minute? She works with suppliers who have strong commitments to supporting the local communities where these rugs are made. They offer programs to help equip women with skills to earn a living and support their families. Each of these rugs is handmade by artisans.
GreenGuard Furniture: Dressers, Nightstands & Desk
The dressers, nightstands and desk below are certified GreenGuard and GreenGuard Gold for low toxins, healthy materials and healthy manufacturing:
The following duvet covers are Oeko-Tex Standard and are 100% organic cotton from The Home Company and MakeMake Organics
BASKETS, DRAPES & ACCESSORIES
While most of the time it’s not possible to find 100% organic materials in baskets, storage and drapes, you can still opt for a more natural material such as 100% cotton, linen or a jute.
I love the storage solutions from Rugs by Roo – and just like their rugs, they’re made with high quality materials.
As for drapes and curtains, you can find a few available, but if you’re looking for a creative alternative, you can always check Etsy, or even find organic cotton fabric and make your own.
Here are some of my favorite options:
The Baisc to Creating a Healthy Kids Room:
These items are perfect staples in any kids room. Not only are they safe and healthy in terms of materials, but you can also improve the indoor air quality of the room by using a top fill humidifier and air purifier.
So Many Ways to Do a Healthy Kids Room
When you put it all together, you can create ADORABLE, AFFORDABLE and LOW TOXIN rooms for any kiddo.
These are just a few of the ideas that we put together to give you a feel of what you could create at home:
No matter what style you go with, I love that you can trust a reputable, transparent company like Rugs by Roo to find cute, but healthy components to any kids room. With all of these low toxin and organic finds, there’s no reason we can’t create rooms that are supportive of our little one’s health and wellness.