Bubble Baths ‘n Baby Powder: Are your Child’s Toiletries Safe? Tami Main
ith the vast array of baby products on the market today, do you really know what you are lathering and slathering your child with? As a parent, you expect children’s products to be safe. This is not always the case. Children are less likely to detoxify chemicals from their system than adults. Their developing organs are more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure. Many bubble bath products on the market contain sodium lauryl or laureth sulphates, which is a foaming agent that can cause skin irritants, allergic reactions and liver toxicity. Directly stated on most product bottles is ‘Not to use on children under 3’ due to the urinary tract infections that can be caused by the synthetic fragrance these products contain. Any product containing an ingredient listed as parfum or fragrance is a mixture of several different chemicals. That soft, fresh scent of baby powder present in lotion is actually a chemically made fragrance. If you love a scented product, choose a product that uses an essential oil for the scent. If your child has skin sensitivities, check with your physician before using a new product, even if it states the product is natural and gentle. A natural alternative to baby powder is cornstarch mixed with some essential oil in a shaker jar. Cornstarch fibers are more coarse and do not remain airborne such as talc. Mineral oil or baby oil, which is a petroleum byproduct, usually has a toxic fragrance added to it. Coconut oil can be a wonderful alternative to mineral or baby oil.
Lanolin, used by many nursing mothers, can contain pesticides which are absorbed into the skin. This fatty substance is obtained from sheep’s wool and is also used in cosmetics. Hand wash and sanitizers used to keep your children clean and germ-free can often contain an ingredient called triclosan, which is an antibacterial and antifungal and can cause resistance to antibiotic bacteria. This ingredient has been associated with environmental concerns. Several of those cute little nail polishes and make-up products available for young girls contain parabens, which is a preservative, and can interfere with hormone function. Moms, take note of this ingredient in your deodorant. Be aware of formaldehyde, toluene and phthalates in nail polish. Toluene has been shown to cause human reproductive toxicity and phthalates can cause adverse affects on children’s developing hormone systems. As parents, we make an effort to keep our children safe; we also need to be aware and limit our children’s exposure to chemicals. We have the knowledge that personal care products can be made without hazardous ingredients. Don’t always trust the claims of the label. Research your product ingredients. Less is more when it comes to your children’s personal care products. _________________________________________________ Tami Main is Mom to a 5 1/2 yr old girl with allergies. She takes great care in providing fantastic alternative children’s skincare products to other parents as the director of a skincare company based in Langley BC. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org www.taslie.com
Island Child Magazine / www.islandchildmag.com / spring 2011 / 3