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Healthy Child Healthy World - Creating Healthy Environments For Children

Michele Dupper

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"Treat the Earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. " This is an ancient Kenyan proverb that really hits home these days as we are becoming more aware of how our past and current actions are affecting our world. As parents, we all want the very best for our children now and in the future. And we certainly want to ensure that our beautiful planet is still flourishing well beyond our children's lifetime.

Most of us now realize that the future of our planet as well as the health of our children depends greatly on changes we need to make in our everyday lives. However, it can be quite overwhelming and even scary when you begin learning about all of the environmental toxins in the world today. From food, to bath products, to toys, etc. Where do you begin?

There is an exceptional non-profit organization called Healthy Child Healthy World that is one of the best resources out there for parents. It was founded by James & Nancy Chuda in 1991 when they decided to turn their sad story into something positive. The effects of harmful environmental exposures, unfortunately, became very real to them when their 5 year old daughter, Collette, died of a rare form of cancer. Years later they learned that her tumor may have been caused by maternal exposure to pesticides before pregnancy. In honor of their daughter's bravery, they began the Colette Chuda Environmental Fund, now Healthy Child Healthy World (HCHW), to educate families about the relationship between children's health and the environment.

HCHW purpose and goals as outlined on their website are to:

  • Expand awareness and understanding of environmental hazards to children's health
  • Help the public learn about healthier practices, solutions, and products in the marketplace
  • Encourage daily action and informed lifestyle choices
  • Create standards and policies for safer products, foods, materials, and chemicals used in the home - promoting safer options and new alternatives
  • Advocate for and support corporate policies and governmental legislation that protect children from environmental risks
  • Engage communities to make wise choices and responsible decisions so families can flourish

    The HCHW website contains a wealth of information to help you in creating an environmentally friendly home for your family. There are numerous programs outlined for you to follow such as 5 Easy Steps and Healthy Home Parties. They actually provide you with all the tools necessary to host a Healthy Home Party for your family and friends to educate them about protecting children's health and development from common contaminants we are exposed to every day. You can also sign up for a monthly email newsletter that provides age-specific environmental health lessons throughout pregnancy and the first 2 years of your child's life.

    In addition to the programs the site also includes a vast array of environmental resources for you to use. For example, there are numerous 1-page checklists for almost anything you can imagine, such as, cloth diapering, keeping your child lead-free and feeding children safe food. There is also a very informative ingredients profile that describes chemicals encountered in our daily lives. Instead of simply describing the health effects of these chemicals, they also empower you with solutions to exposure.

    Another really great area of the site is the marketplace. It is filled with information on companies that offer products and services for your home and children that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. There is a wide variety of green products included such as baby bottles, crib mattresses, organic foods, children's furniture and paints and stains. No need for you to spend time researching all the eco-friendly product options out there because HCHW only recommends products from companies that have passed their screening. You can check out the details of their quality standards on the site.

    HCHW is definitely an organization that is leading the environmental movement and has children as their top priority. The amount of information that they have compiled in an easy to navigate website is really impressive. Visit them today and instead of feeling overwhelmed by the green trend, you may just feel inspired to get involved and begin making changes in your life for the future of your children.

    Michele Dupper is Mom to her 1 1/2 year old son and the owner of Truly Organic Beauty ( ). She lives in sunny FL and has been transitioning to a green lifestyle since starting a family. Michele enjoys educating others about living a more natural lifestyle that is beneficial for the health of our bodies as well as our planet.

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