Not having to deal with food pickiness is a relief for moms; you always know that you’re kids would be well-fed. But given the high rate of child obesity today, you may want to be extra careful of what your kids munch on. Eating big doesn’t always equate to eating right.

How certain are you that your house is completely toxin-free? Even the most conscientious of parents neglect priority cleaning areas from time to time, and this oversight can cost your family’s health. Worse, many seemingly ‘safe’ products are not safe at all. It pays to mind then what we bring inside our homes.

Here’s a list of hidden toxins many parents tend to neglect:

Mold and mildew.Water is an enemy if not handled properly. For instance, bathroom tiles and water pipes are hospitable to the growth of mold and mildew in your household. The same can be said about wooden roofs, leaked-on walls and floors prone to flooding. Mold and mildew in large quantities increase your family’s risk of getting asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments.

Preservatives in food. We unknowingly lead toxins inside our homes, most of which are in the food that we prepare. ‘Junk foods’ such as commercial chips and candies are almost nothing but preservatives and sugars. Even ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables may be laden with chemical preservatives to ensure longer shelf life. The styrofoam packaging of meats can be carcinogenic. To be safe, it’s best to always inspect what you’re buying, and ask your grocer about the stuff that they sell.

Cleaning chemical hazards. Speaking of toxins that we invite inside our homes, a lot of them can be found in household cleaning products. For instance, some anti-bacterial liquids can be so strong that long-term exposure to them can cause respiratory ailments. Chemicals to watch out for include methylene chloride and NTAs which are believed to be highly carcinogenic.

Lead. Lead poisoning is one of the most common causes of poisoning in the household. The scary thing is, many households are not even aware that they are exposed to lead until it’s too late. Lead is dominant in old paints, as well as in the soil near highways. Prolonged exposure to high levels of lead can lead into brain damage and kidney failure. Exposure to lead is also believed to be connected to the phenomenon of increased hyperactivity in children these days.

Electronic devices! If you’re a techie person, you should pay more mind to what kind of electronic devices you put in your home. Televisions, computers, mobile phones and gaming consoles may not be as safe as you’d like to think. Some of them contain the flame retardant PBDE. Repeated exposure to large amounts of PBDE can cause hormonal imbalance and neurological problems.

Garden pesticides. Are you fond of gardening? Be careful of the chemicals you use to tend to your blooms and greens. All pesticides are dangerous to one’s health (they’re designed to kill pests, after all!) If you’re not careful in handling them, kids can get into contact with them. You may also accidentally mix them with food if you fail to clean your hands thoroughly after handling them. As much as you can, opt for non-chemical alternatives to handling your plant’s enemies; doing so can lessen the toxins you invite in your home. Unfortunately, we live in a time and place where toxins are everywhere! It pays then to read up on anything we buy, practice personal and house hygiene and lock up dangerous chemicals so that they won’t be reached by children. The more proactive we are in uncovering and removing the hidden toxins in our homes, the safer our families would be.