Children in the Home? Why Well Water Testing Is Essential

Families in homes supplied with well water need to know this: The purity of their well water is a very high priority when there are children in residence. Children have a greater need for pure water than adults do. Once you see all the reasons this purer water is needed by a child, you’ll want to know exactly what’s in your well! 

Reasons Children Need Pure, Uncontaminated Water

Here are some of the reasons that children have a greater need for clean, pure water than adults: 

  1. The immune systems of children are not as fully developed as those of adults. Therefore, they are more sensitive to microorganisms like Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and E. coli. Bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that might not create illness for an adult can create a dangerous illness in a child. 
  2. If lead pipes or lead solder were used in the house’s plumbing, small amounts of lead may be released into the drinking water. Even small quantities can damage a child’s brain and nervous system and lead to learning or behavior problems, poor growth or speech and hearing problems. Lead can also occur in the bedrock around the well, meaning that naturally occurring lead can enter the well water.
  3. Children drink a higher proportion of water relative to their body weight than adults do. Therefore, relative to their size and ability to detoxify chemicals or toxic minerals, they receive a greater burden of water contaminants than adults do. 
  4. If babies are fed formula made with tap water, that water may constitute 85% of their diet. This baby will have intense exposure to any contaminants in the water. 
  5. Babies that drink formula or food made with well water with too many nitrates can suffer from methemoglobinemia or Blue Baby Syndrome. The nitrates in the water interfere with the ability of their blood to carry oxygen so they actually turn bluish. Nitrates can enter groundwater due to the presence of fertilizers, livestock waste, leaking septic systems or decaying plant material. Older children and adults are able to break down nitrates so they are not affected.
  6. There are thousands of natural or manufactured chemicals that are endocrine disruptors. That means that they interfere with hormonal activity and the endocrine system. They may also mimic certain hormones. Children may not only be exposed to these chemicals in drinking water but also in plastic bottles, flame-retardant pajamas and toys. The greatest sensitivity to these chemicals occurs in prenatal and postnatal periods, and until a child reaches puberty.

Unfortunately, this is only a partial list of the water contaminants that can have serious impacts on a child’s rapidly developing body. 

Babies Grow and Develop During Pregnancy, Too

When there is a pregnant woman in the household, there is a similar requirement for pure water. The fetus is going through the same fast growth and development as a child. 

Many toxins that make their way into well water can cause birth defects or result in low birth weight or miscarriage. Other toxins are associated with disrupted hormonal development during pregnancy that may not show up as a problem until the child reaches adolescence. To protect the health of the mother as well as the baby, ensure your well water is as pure and healthy as possible.

Start by Testing the Water—Then What Should You Do?

The only way to guarantee a supply of healthy, pure well water is to perform regular testing and then install any water filtration or treatment systems needed to eliminate impurities. Start with the Ultimate Water Test from ETR Labs and then move on to planning a filtration system specifically suited for the contaminants in your water. 

A filter on just the refrigerator or kitchen sink won’t be enough. Adults are able to avoid ingesting water while brushing teeth, bathing and showering. Children are more likely to ingest water at all these times. The best solution, then, is a whole-house filter. ETR Labs staff will be happy to help you choose the right filter once your test is done. Order your Ultimate Water Test now!