Warm weather brings bugs and insects into our homes. While having a few ants, flies, and fleas can be irritating, a full-blown infestation can be a huge problem. You might be tempted to reach for the chemical bug spray and eradicate those nasty bugs. But before you do, think about the side effects that these chemical pesticides can impose on your family, especially your children. These pest control solutions may be fatal for bugs, but it can also unleash toxic compounds that can put your family at risk.
Chemical Pesticides: An Overview
A chemical pesticide is a substance that is mostly used to prevent, control, and eradicate bugs and insects. These chemical solutions are used for various purposes, and they also come with a wide range of side effects that affects the nervous and immune system of human beings. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, and regulators for plant growth. Adults are vulnerable to negative side effects, but children who are exposed to it are more likely to suffer from dangerous and lethal consequences. Children are vulnerable to its side effects because of their body weight and less developed detoxification and immune systems.
Health Concerns For Infants And Children
Infants and children may be exposed to these chemical solutions while they are playing on the yard, floor, and other play areas; eating foods that has been treated with pesticide; or by interacting with pets treated with these solutions. Exposure to chemical pest control solutions can cause the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing and chest pains
- Vomiting, dizziness, and headaches
- Blurred vision
If the child is exposed to pesticides for a long period of time, he or she can suffering from the following health conditions:
- Birth Defects- this occurs to babies born to mothers who are exposed to pesticides during pregnancy
- Neuro-behavioral condition and problems
- Reproductive problems
The main reasons why infants and children are especially vulnerable to health risks when exposed to pesticides include the fact that their internal organs are still at the development stage. In addition, infants and children tend to drink and eat more than adults; thus, they are at risk of consuming and being exposed to pesticides through food and water. Lastly, infants and toddlers are more likely to play on the floor and garden, and they tend to put objects in their mouth. These activities expose them to pesticides used at home and in the garden.
Minimize The Use Of Pesticides By Taking Preventive Steps
If you are concerned about the potential health risks that your child might suffer from due to the use of chemical solutions for pest control, you can always find ways to minimize its usage. Thankfully, there are effective and eco-friendly ways to control pests at home. These techniques and preventive steps pose the least health hazards to human beings and the environment. Here are some steps to prevent the use of pesticides in the first place.
- Keep your house clean and sanitary by cleaning up food and drink spills
- Clean up clutter to avoid inviting pests inside your home
- Seal or caulk holes and cracks found in your home as these will serve as entryways for insects and bugs
- Insects and bugs need water to survive; thus, you must fix plumbing and other leaks.
- Use eco-friendly and natural pest control solutions
If you find a couple of ants, flies, or mosquitoes in your home, you can look for safe and natural solutions to get rid of these insects and bugs. For instance, you can use diatomaceous earth which is an effective pest control solution that is non-toxic for both humans and pets. You can also ask a professional exterminator to use green and natural products to ensure the safety of your children.
The author, Kris Lim, is a mother of one who was once very concerned about the side effects of chemical pesticides on her infant. For this reason, she shares her thoughts and opinions regarding the dangers of pesticide exposure to help raise awareness. She now uses natural and organic Bellflower pest control methods to avoid and minimize the use of chemical solutions.