Children should drink water to stay hydrated, and the most convenient source is directly from the tap. However, despite the fact that the water has been through a treatment process, it can contain contaminants. As children are smaller than adults and are still growing, these contaminants can affect them more seriously than the contaminants affect adults.
Lead in Tap Water
Lead contamination is one of the most concerning household toxins for homes with children. You may already know that lead was once used in exterior and interior paint, and that old houses may still be contaminated with lead from this. However, lead is also a common contaminant in tap water. This occurs most frequently when water pipes corrode and the lead in the pipes releases into the water.
Although lead is also harmful to adults, it is exceptionally harmful for kids because they are still growing. Their developing brain and nervous system is more easily harmed by even low levels of lead. Other internal organs are also adversely affected by lead exposure, and over time, this exposure can lead to irreversible health problems.
There really is no safe level of lead exposure for children. Since lead is odorless and tasteless in water, there is no way to know if your tap water is contaminated with lead unless you have it tested.
Other Contaminants in Tap Water
Tap water contains chlorine, which is used in the treatment facility. Although it is considered safe, and is used to kill off many pathogens in the water, there is some concern that chlorine may contribute to some cancers.
Traces of arsenic, cyanide, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides can also be found in municipal water systems of many areas. Bacteria and other microorganisms are sometimes not removed properly during the water treatment process.
Children who drink unfiltered tap water can be exposed to all of these chemicals and pathogens. A child’s developing body and immune system has a more difficult time dealing with these than do adults. Even if children do not show signs of illness right away, it is unknown what effects these contaminants could have through long-term exposure.
A water filtering system can protect you and your children from many of the most harmful contaminants, such as lead. There are many types of filtering systems and not all are created equal. A water softener system, for example, should not be used in place of a filtering system – the purpose of a water softener is only to remove certain minerals from water and does not purify it at all. A water filtering system is designed to remove sediment as well as lead and other harmful contaminants from water.
When choosing a filtering system, you can buy small ones for individual sinks and faucets, or you can invest in a whole house system, such as those offered by LifeSource Water. These systems filter the water supply not only to sink faucets, but to showers, baths and washing machines as well.
Whatever kind of water filtering system you use, you will be taking a very important step towards the health of your children.