Is Your Water Bottle Making You a Bad Parent?

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As a parent, it is our job to protect our children from the things that might cause them harm. We tell our children not to talk to strangers, to look both ways before crossing the street & not to go near the stove when it's on. We nurture our tiny people, teach them & hope that our parenting skills are enough to foster the growth of a wonderful adult &, at the bare minimum, a functioning member of society.

What if I told you, however, that your water bottle is threatening your ability to raise your child?

We already know about the dangers of BPA, or Bisphenol A. For decades, this chemical has been used to line plastic water bottles. Recently, however, BPA has been linked to cancer & high blood pressure. BPA has also been proven to disrupt hormones & has a detrimental effect on infant & toddler brain development. 

This information about BPA is relatively old news. Of course, you're a good parent, & you want to give your child every advantage in life, so you've gone out of your way to select a slew of BPA-free products for your little one. There's no way that your son or daughter will be getting their hands on a BPA lined plastic product...but what about you?

How Your Water Bottle Makes You a Bad Parent

Most of us have already taken the plunge & invested in a BPA-free water bottle. This, of course, was a responsible decision as it means less waste, which is good for the environment, & it leaves us exposed to fewer chemicals which is good for our health. What about all of the times that you're out & about? The times when you've forgotten to bring your water bottle with you?

It happens to all of us, it's a hot summer day, or we're out for a run, & grabbing a disposable water bottle from the convenience store is a thirst quenching necessity. 

While the occasional drink from a non-BPA-free water bottle probably doesn't seem like the biggest deal, a study conducted by the University of Missouri has found that BPA actually reduces parental care. This means, parents who are exposed to BPA tend to groom, nurse & care for their infants & toddlers less than parents who are not exposed to BPA.

The University's study was carried out on lab rats. In the study, the control group was kept in an environment free of BPA contamination while the test subjects were exposed to small amounts of BPA in the same proportion as a human would encounter. What the researchers found was that, mothers were highly effected by exposure to BPA while the decline in care by fathers was less marked, but noticeably present.

The University of Missouri scientists concluded that, since the hormones & areas of our brain which regulate parental behaviours are similar across many species, the affect that BPA had on their lab rats is likely the same affect it has on human parents. While there is still further studies & research to be done, this is just one more reason to ditch BPA products.

The Fix

Fortunately, it is really easy for us to limit our own exposure to BPA while keeping our children & family safe from the ill health effects of this chemical There are a number of products on the market which are made without the addition of BPA. Additionally, there are a few habits & lifestyle changes you can make to further limit your exposure to this chemical.

Minimise your family's exposure to BPA:

  • Drink tap water instead of bottled water
  • Avoid using plastic cutlery
  • Don't buy canned food - especially foods that are acidic or ones that have a high fat or salt content
  • Store your food in glass jar & containers instead of plastic ones
  • Avoid purchasing plastic toys
  • Don't handle receipts that you get from stores
  • Don't serve food or drinks on plastic dishes or in plastic cups.

Limiting your exposure to BPA is simple & doesn't necessarily mean you need to spend $30 on a water bottle just to keep you & your family safe. 

Do you have any questions or comments about BPA or using BPA-free products? Make yourself heard in the comments. You can also contact us via email at info@TheEssentialLife.org. We would also like to invite all of our readers to make their mark on The Essential Life by becoming one of our contributors. If you would like to share your story, your words & your wisdom with The Essential Life community, & you'd like to see your articles featured here on The Essential Life blog, please submit your articles here