The older my children get the more concerned I am about how safe their world is outside my arms. I can use non-toxic cleaners in my home, feed them organic food, use safe personal care products, carefully choose their toys and sippy cups but what happens when they go with grandma or grandpa or to school? I just enrolled my son for his preschool next year and as comfortable as I may be with the school, the program, the teachers I still wonder about some safety issues.

How does a parent try to change a school when they are following state licensing rules? My sons program has state rules for licensing and those rules state the school has to disinfect with an E.P.A. certified disinfectant approved by the health department. Bleach is usually the choice because it is cheap. I asked the teacher what she cleaned the toys with and it was bleach. I asked what they wipe the counters and tables with and it was 409. I cringed. How do I not become a “freak” about this and go to far? I don’t want the teachers to think I’m weird (remember I’ve taught so I know) and roll their eyes when I leave the room.

I’m a huge fan of the Healthy Schools Campaign. They’re a non-profit group that empowers and supports the change of schools going green and creating healthier environments for children, including playgrounds and food. I get their newsletter via the mail and find it so interesting and informative but then I recycle it. What I should do is take this information to my sons teachers and then to the director and the board and be a catalyst for change. It is going to be time consuming and like all “new” things there will be road bumps and challenges but with groups such as the Healthy Schools Campaign I have support and ideas. Hopefully, some of you can look into this group and find their support and help too. I’d love to hear how some of you are “greening” your schools and daycares and what challenges you face.

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