A month or so ago, a friend called to ask for my advice. Her almost 3 year old was coughing at night and she had just been diagnosed with asthma. Her pediatrician put her on medication that she was to take for the next several weeks. Since this made my friend a little uneasy, and she is seeking to live a healthy life overall (aren't we all), she wanted to know what else she could do, what she might look for, any ideas for her daughter. Well, I said I'd ask around, but meanwhile she should look in her environment. As we talked more and brainstormed what might be contributing to the coughing, I mentioned that she may want to look at her mattress. A mattress with less chemicals may be something to try since she was only coughing at night, and it turns out, only in her own bed! When she slept in her mom and dad's room, in the bed or on the floor, she didn't cough!
That day, my friend bought a new organic mattress. Her toddler has not coughed since, and my friend is elated! She can't stop talking about this, which makes me happy because she is spreading the word about environmental health for our kids. I'm so glad the mattress did the trick! And I'm so glad she asked for ideas.
This experience just reinforced for me the need to demand safer products for our children and ourselves. If we all assume that asthma requires medication and are not clued in to look for sources other than our own body systems, we will continue to allow products with toxins to off gas in our homes and think we are "just sick". I was introduced to an organization called Healthy Child Healthy World whose mission reads: "We are igniting a movement that inspires parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals." Here is their video, A Wake-Up Story. Share it with your friends and family, if only to get them to think about what they and their children are exposed to every day.