From the moment we find out we’re going to be parents, whether it be our first child or our last, there’s always an overwhelming amount of emotions that flood us. The love we have for our children from the moment we hear they will be in our lives is almost instant. We as parents will do almost anything to keep our little ones safe. Yet sometimes it can be a little tricky when deciding what products to use and to keep around, especially in the diaper bag.
With products like Bisphenol-A, Formaldehyde, Talc, Belladonna, and Propylene Glycol being found in baby care products, it’s important to read labels and find healthier, safer alternatives. For many of us, we have heard of these ingredients and know they can be dangerous, but may not know why. Taking a deeper look into this matter, let’s first investigate what happens when a group of scientists become curious about the chemical makeup of the liquid found inside teething rings. They simulate the way teething rings are used, and test the most popular teething rings, most claiming to being BPA-free. When tested, detectable levels of a variety of chemicals were found, including BPA. A hormone-disrupting chemical, BPA causes damage to the brain, reproductive system, heart, liver, and more.The baby product that is supposed to sooth your child potentially could be hurting them.
These natural teething remedies are a perfect example of how safe and effective alternatives are available right in your own home!
Use a Frozen Washcloth – Pull a washcloth through a napkin ring, and dip the tip in water- then freeze. It will be easy to hold, cold enough to sooth, but not too cold to hurt your toddler
Offer Frozen Fruit – Fill a mesh feeder with fresh fruit, and freeze it. Using a feeder will prevent any large pieces from becoming a choking hazard, and kids will get some vitamins while soothing their gums
If you paid attention to the news in 2016, you probably noticed that baby powder was trending. It’s been used to treat diaper rash, and by women for personal hygiene—so why is it bad? Many baby powders are made from a mineral called talc, which is composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talc has been associated with cancer for decades, specifically ovarian cancer and lung diseases, as it was contaminated with asbestos in the past. Although asbestos is not present in the products sold today, even the asbestos-free talc that is still sold raises safety concerns. To avoid possible health risks, look for talc-free powders that contain earth clays, cornstarch, or arrowroot, like Modern Hippie Baby Powder, made with arrowroot powder, bentonite clay, zinc oxide (moisture barrier) and lavender essential oil.
When finding the right products to use on little ones, taking a few extra steps to ensure you are giving your child the best and safest products almost will almost always end in a happy and healthy baby. To learn more, check out Consumer Safety’s article about “7 Harmful Ingredients in Baby Care Products”.
5 Things to Leave Out of Your Diaper Bag
1. Talcum Powder
Uses: To treat diaper rash, and as an intimate care product by women.
Danger: Linked to ovarian cancer and lung diseases.
Alternative: Use talc-free products that contain arrowroot, earth clays, corn
starch or rice powder, like Modern Hippie Baby Powder, made with bentonite clay, arrow root powder, zinc oxide (moisture barrier) and lavender essential oils.
2. Baby Oil
Uses: To moisturize skin.
Danger: Usually made from mineral oil (a petroleum byproduct) and “fragrance.”
Mineral oils act like liquid plastic, inhibiting breathability and toxin release.
Alternative: Opt for natural oils like coconut, almond and olive. Try making your own baby oil with organic sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, vitamin E oil, mildly scented with lavender essential oils.
3. Antibacterial Soaps
Uses: To kill germs and bacteria.
Danger: Nearly all antibacterial soaps contain triclosan, a carcinogenic
Alternative: Babies are generally clean until they become mobile, so you
shouldn’t have to swab them down with antibacterial cleansers. Evidence
suggests that having some exposure to bacteria may actually strengthen a
baby’s immune system.
Uses: Homeopathic teething remedy.
Danger: Linked to seizures and adverse health complications in children due to
inconsistent amounts in products (teething toys have also been found to contain
contain BPA- and are not regulated by the FDA because they aren’t considered a
food or drug).
Alternative: Try a chilled damp washcloth, or gentle pressure from a parent’s
finger on the gums. For older children, some frozen banana in a mesh feeding
tube will provide some comfort.
5. Artificial Fragrance
Uses : To mask chemical odours from other ingredients.
Danger : Often contain petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals which can cause respiratory, neurological, and skin damage, and may lead to asthma (companies are not required to disclose what ingredients are in “fragrance”).
Alternative : Opt for fragrance-free products, or those made with baby-safe therapeutic grade essential oils.
Kalyn Duguay is a Product Safety Advocate for ConsumerSafety.org, an organization dedicated to keeping consumers informed by publishing safety and health news, as well as posting recall alerts and safety guides.