By Sarah Harris

Sarah Harris N.D.

Specialist Naturopath – Holistic Nutritionist – Herbalist – Homoeopath – Remedial Therapist

Toxins can have greater impact to children than adults because relative to us, kilogram for kilogram, they eat more, breathe more, have a greater skin surface area and have immature organ systems; so unfortunately, they are more susceptible to damage.

Detoxification in children, aims to reduce the body’s toxic load while naturally enhancing the effectiveness of the channels of elimination. As the gut, brain, and immune (GBI) systems grow in children, any toxic burden may have an overall negative impact on their development. Even minor accumulations of toxins are dangerous to children. Immune, digestive, and brain development during childhood lays the foundation for long-term health and happiness.

Everyday in my paediatric and family practice I uncover signs and symptoms in children in which indicate they would benefit from a simple detoxification. These include:

  • Behavioural problems, learning difficulties or attention deficit
  • Fatigue, lethargy and/or apathy
  • Depression, anxiety and/or mood swings
  • Poor memory and concentration difficulties
  • Immune dysregulation –recurrent infections and allergies
  • Sensitivity to environmental chemicals, odours and/or nutritional supplements
  • Digestive symptoms including recurrent gut pain, constipation and/or diarrhoea


  • Prolonged or frequent use of prescribed medicines e.g. antibiotics, pain killers etc.
  • Poor diet e.g. increased processed foods, minimal intake of fruit and vegetables, reduced variety of foods
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances e.g. Poor bowel motions, infections (parasites), food sensitives
  • Urban living
  • Mould exposure
  • Electromagnetic exposure via frequent screen use
  • Lack of exercise and poor posture
  • Psychosocial stress, e.g. family breakdown, bullying, social media influences
  • Heavy metal exposure


Detoxing can start in the home. Below are some suggestions:

  • Incorporating detoxifying foods – such as lemon, ginger, garlic, beetroot, broccoli – just to name a few. Where possible, start with organic whole foods or consider the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 to be selective with purchases. For more information on when to buy organic produce, please refer to Matthew Burrell ND’s post (
  • Drink sufficient purified water daily (this doesn’t have to be an exact amount just encouraging regular exposure will ensure healthy daily requirements).
  • Remove/ reduce environmental toxins – eg. Chemical based cleaning products, plastics, etc.
  • Aim to create a stress free and supportive home and school environment
  • Dry skin brushing- via loofa sponges when showering or bathing.
  • Regular exercise- whether via individual or team activities the goal is to achieve a ‘huff, puff and a sweat’.

Specific non-invasive tests are available to reveal whether your child has any deficiencies of essential nutrients for successful detoxification, sufficient digestive performance or the presence of dysbiotic organisms (eg. parasites) and heavy metal exposure.

Overall, the best way to support detoxification in children, is to ensure they have a whole food diet, drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and enjoy a stress-free environment. Thereafter, more specific players such as parasites, heavy metals and infections can be assessed and corrected with the help of a qualified practitioner.

As a specialised paediatric and family Naturopath, I would love to support you and your family to achieve the very best outcomes for detoxification for your child, using diet and lifestyle or supplementation if required.

If you would like to develop a specific strategy that best suits your child, please do not hesitate to make an appointment by calling our reception team on 03 5221 8220. 

Yours in good health,


Sarah Harris

Specialist Naturopath, Holistic Nutritionist, Herbalist, Homoeopath

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