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Oh No! Chemi-killz!

As a parent, it's your sacred duty to protect your children from any harm that might come their way. Of course, what it means to protect your child has changed over the years as the dangers that our kids face shift and evolve. Sixty years ago, parents were giving their kids LSD to induce religious experiences (nope, not kidding!). They also let their kids roam around outside until sunset, and they ALL vaccinated their kids. Know why? Because they saw the damage that polio can do to a kid - they literally saw it, with their own eyes. That stark reminder was enough to help them see how vaccines could help them protect their kids.

I get it. Today's world is a VERY different world! Now we have to consider if we share our kids' names on social media, or their photos. It's not safe to let your kids roam about (well, at least we don't think it is.) at any hour - daylight or not. And worst of all? We're killing our kids with all of these "chemicals" in everything.

*cue record scratch*

Hold the phone, Barb. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works!

Look, you're not a bad parent. It's awesome that you care so much about what is entering your kid's body - that you've put so much thought and energy into making sure your kid has the best you can offer. But all that energy might be better poured into research about what really can - and can't - hurt your kiddo.

Everything Is A Chemical

Don't believe me? Let's take this one all the way back to the periodic table. Every single thing on this planet is made up on matter, a collection of atoms of certain elements that combine to create <insert thing here>. Air is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Milk is a chemical. "Chemical" simply means something that is made up of elements in a specific fusion. So, if you want to talk about "chemicals" being bad - get your facts straight! You sound silly telling people that water is dangerous for you, and even worse for their toddler. More to your point, you might instead say: "Some chemical compounds aren't ideal for kids or adults to ingest/inhale/absorb."

Natural Isn't Always Better

"But, Amanda," you say, "I just mean that SYNTHETIC chemicals are bad for your health!" Wrong again, Barb. Sure, there are definitely synthetic chemicals that are unsafe in certain applications. Definitely don't go around drinking bleach to prove me wrong here, ok? But if your kid has the flu and pukes all over their sheets? Yeah, toss half of a cup of bleach into the washing machine and rest assured that the flu virus stops there. Those "natural" alternatives - like Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, or even Vinegar? They don't come close to the efficacy of good ol' sodium hypochlorite.

Potency Matters

Remember when I said that you sound silly saying water is dangerous (because it's a chemical)? Well, that's mostly true. Any parent worth their salt can tell you that too much water is downright dangerous for newborns! Of course, that's because babies require a delicate balance of electrolytes to stay healthy. Adding water to the mix can dilute those electrolytes and cause serious complications - even death! Even adults can die of water toxicity - by the same mechanism, although it takes a LOT more water to happen. The key here is this: potency matters. Too much of a good thing *can* be a bad thing. And just a teeny bit of a "bad" thing can actually help immensely! For example, doctors sometimes prescribe bleach baths to kids with eczema! The dilution is rather weak - just strong enough to make an impact but not strong enough to do any tissue damage. It's not that "chemi-killz" - it's that too much of a compound can do harm. (So can too little!)

Before you start telling me that you've done your research and Tide is the debil because it has a lingering smell - just hold the phone. Dig into the science - don't just take a study's word for it! Look into the mechanisms by which these "chemi-killz" work. Maybe you might even discover that, instead of fearing chemi-killz, you'll be saving money on medical bills. You know...because you're properly disinfecting after a viral illness? ...Give me a break, I just wanted to make the rhyme scheme work!

 

Are you afraid of chemi-killz? Tell me what scares you on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 - and we can talk it through to make sure you're not needlessly scared of a helpful compound. 

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