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Can Water Quality Affect Your Infant?

As parents, it is our responsibility, and to be honest, our joy, to protect our children. For many parents, this protective instinct kicks in even before their baby is born and never fades. As many first-time parents will attest to, babyproofing your house before the little bundle of joy arrives is a must. The list can get a bit crazy sometimes though; one list we found had nearly 90 different items on its checklist for infants – before they even crawled! So yes, protecting our children is vitally important, which brings us to our topic today; can water quality affect your infant?
In short, the answer is yes, it definitely can.
Protecting our children begins in the womb. Mom’s need to be very careful of what they eat and drink while they are pregnant, because it will eventually make its way to the fetus. Drinking water is no exception either. While it is highly recommended for pregnant moms to drink plenty of water during their pregnancy, they need to make sure their water is safe to drink.
Water works to keep new moms hydrated, and will help the body function to its fullest capacity while it is creating a tiny human life. However, if that water is contaminated with lead, bacteria, nitrates or other contaminates, it can be harmful to both the mom and her baby. In 1994, a study was conducted, that showed the odds of certain birth defects, were more than 1.5 times higher for pregnant women who were exposed to certain contaminants in their drinking water. For example, neural tube defects and oral clefts were clinically linked to the presence of trichloroethylene in their water.
The danger of contaminated drinking water carries over even after the baby is born. If a baby is fed formula that was made with contaminated drinking water, they could become exceptionally ill and even die. One prime example of this is blue baby syndrome. If nitrates are in the water the baby drank, it can deplete the blood cells of oxygen, resulting in cyanosis or even brain damage and death.
Fluoride is obviously a lesser concern than nitrates, however fluoridated water does carry some unintended consequences. Most, if not all, municipally supplied water has fluoride added to it. This addition has significantly reduced the number of cavities we Americans have, however it is not good to give to babies.
Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, noted by the mottling of the adult teeth and even calcification of ligaments in severe cases. The CDC recommends that if babies are going to be drinking formula, it should be made with non-fluoridated water. As they get older, the risk of fluorosis declines, but for infants it is fairly high.
The best way to ensure safety for both mom and baby is to stay away from unfiltered tap water. Installing a water filtration system such as a reverse osmosis (RO), or even a drinking water system such as our LINX Drinking Water System, will ensure that the water your family is drinking is as safe and contaminate free as possible. This is just one more way you can protect your baby and your family – and fortunately it is easier than, as one mom suggested, fixing all the squeaky floors in the house so your baby can sleep!