Baby, Toxic Chemicals & The Outdoors

Click here for more non-toxic tips from our Green Parent Guide

Studies show that children who spend more time outdoors have less anxiety, higher attention rates, and are more physically fit. This section offers some tips on how to enjoy a fun, natural space outside of your home with your baby, the Green Parent way.


While lawns can be a great place for your baby to explore nature, they can contain massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers. Studies have shown that some pesticides mimic hormones, causing developmental harm. Use of lawn herbicides at home has been associated with a seven-fold increase in the risk of childhood leukemia, and has also been linked to increased rates of miscarriage.

Try This!

  • Reduce petro-chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides by mulching, mowing, hand weeding, or using an organic spray in your yard.
  • Try making and putting compost on your lawn and garden rather than synthetic fertilizers. Check out www.beyondpesticides.org for ideas.
  • Thinking about getting rid of your lawn altogether? Go natural with native plants, rock gardens, or other low-maintenance landscaping techniques.

Sunscreen & Bug Spray

Sunscreen is crucial to protect vulnerable baby skin against harmful UV rays. However, many sunscreens contain oxybenzone, which can trigger allergic reactions and is a potential hormone disruptor. Most health experts caution against using it on children. Many bug sprays contain DEET, which is a neurotoxin and may increase the toxicity of other chemicals your baby is exposed to.

Try This!

  • Cover up! The best way to protect your baby from the sun is to stay in the shade and put a hat on your little one’s head.
  • Look for sunscreens that contain the minerals zinc or titanium.
  • Avoid sprays and loose powder sunscreens, which can be accidentally inhaled.
  • Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide to find some safer brands of sunscreens.

Make A Change & Check It Off!

Pick a change (or a few!) you can commit to making.

✔ Avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on lawn.

✔ Ditch the lawn all together and go natural with native plants, rock gardens, etc.

✔ Use sunscreen that doesn’t contain oxybenzone.

✔ Avoid sprays and loose powder sunscreens.

✔ Make your own bug repellent with WVE’s recipe.

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