3 Easy Ways You Can Protect Your Kids from Toxins at the Playground...It's Soooo Simple!

When you take your kids to your community playground, you probably don't think about the fact that they could be exposed to toxins.  Well it's not time to boycott playgrounds but guess what?   When your kids play on wooden play equipment at older playgrounds which have been treated with (the now banned) chromated copper arsenate (CCA), run and crawl around on playgrounds which have artificial play surfaces made with rubber infill (the same stuff the Obamas installed under Sasha and Malia's playset last year) or picnic on green grass treated with pesticides, they could be exposed to chemicals which can cause asthma, behavioral problems, cancer, hyperactivity and other health problems.  Whew, that is a mouthful and I hope I didn't lose you with all of that scary stuff because now is not the time to tune out.  Now is the time to tune in and use these 3 easy ways you can protect your kids from toxins at the playground because it's soooo simple!

  1. Contact your local Parks and Recreation department and ask some probing questions.  Find out if any wooden equipment was treated with CCA.  Urge your local parks and rec. department to begin implementing Integrated Pest Management which is safer and just as effective as using traditional pesticides.  Make some noise, if you are up for it, and even in these tough economic times you will help to make your local parks and playgrounds safer for everyone in your community.   If you are not up for this type of green community activism, no worries.  Find safe parks in other areas and share this information with your friends. 
  2. If your kids get a "turf burn" while playing, be sure to treat and monitor it.
  3. Last, but certainly not least, wash your kid's hands at an actual sink after playing.  Hand sanitizers are great for on the go, but they really only serve to kill bacteria and not to remove the dirt and dust that can harbor toxic chemicals.  Keep those hands out of the mouth until they are clean and make a trip to the park restroom before you lay out your picnic spread. 
Remember that going green is not about guilt.  Living green is about being open to staying informed, sharing what you learn and making small changes every single day which will make ourselves and our earth healthier.  Together we can find the path that leads to a greener, more sustainable future.

Now get outside and play with your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews because we could all use a little green today!

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead