I don't have any kids, so I've never really paid much attention to what's in baby and children's products. I do a ton of research for myself and my husband and our dogs, but I've never really had a reason to pay much attention to kid stuff...until now. I'm about to be an auntie for the first time, so suddenly I'm pouring over baby products and what chemicals are in them, what harm they might do to my precious nephew's sensitive skin, and what I can do to help make sure he's not exposed.
The first three years of a baby's life are the most critical for their development processes. During this extra vulnerable time, its incredibly important to limit baby's exposure to chemicals linked to adverse health effects, so every baby has the opportunity to develop into a healthy adult.
Many of the products that are applied to baby's skin can contain toxic chemicals, which is extra troubling, as they are so much more sensitive to the detrimental effects these chemicals can have. Things you use on your baby like shampoos, soaps, ointments, sunscreen, wipes, and lotions can contain these toxins.
Kiddos can absorb chemicals through their skin much more easily than adults and they are much more vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals because their organs and reproductive systems aren't quite fully developed yet. Its so important to avoid chemicals and toxins if possible during this early developmental stage.
In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report about a chemical, commonly found in both baby wipes and diapers, called dioxin. It warned that dioxin is a "persistent environmental pollutant," which means that it doesn't break down very easily. It can cause all sort of health problems, namely developmental delays, as well as cancer. Other cancer-causing additives to look out for in diapers are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sodium polyacrylate.
Other chemicals of concern to watch for on labels – 1, 4-Dioxane, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, fragrance, phthalates, parabens, octinoxate, benzophenones, ethanolamines and nitrosamines.
Top 4 Tips For Babies
1. Avoid sunscreens with octinoxate, oxybenzone, benzone and homosalate. While it’s important to make sure that babies are protected against UVA/UVB rays,it’s equally important to make sure that these sunscreens do not contain toxic chemicals.
2. Avoid mineral oil in baby oil. Try coconut oil or olive oil instead!
3. Eliminate baby products with added fragrance.
4. Read labels closely and find safer alternatives
Where to Find Safe Baby Products
I would recommend using the EWG's Skin Deep Database to check out the products you are using on your littles....you might be in for a surprise. You can look up safe products on there as well, but keep in mind the database isn't complete. There are great product choices that aren't included, simply because its a work in progress.
Young Living makes some amazing, plant-based products just for kiddos, including diaper cream, lotion, shampoo, and soap, in addition to special pre-diluted oil blends like Sleepyize, TummyGize, and GenYus, to name a few. I made a fun little basket for my nephew filled with these chemical-free baby products so he doesn't have to start his sweet little life by being slathered with toxins.
Not a Young Living member?
Its super easy-peasy to get started living a non-toxic lifestyle with a 24% member discount on plant-based products! Head over to my Essential Oils page to learn more and request free samples!