Do you splurge on baby products for your little one? Before you reach out for that bottle of baby shampoo, think again. It might contain toxic chemicals. Read on to know more.
By Ashwin Dewan
Ruchika Jain is worried about her three-year-old son Aryan. Recently, Aryan developed rashes on his body. At first, Ruchika thought it was a case of heat rashes but even after taking appropriate measures, the rashes did not go away. A visit to the doctor revealed an unusual culprit. It was not due to the heat but a chemical present in the talcum powder that was causing the rashes.
Today, the market is flooded with a lot of baby products. From talcum powder to skin moisturisers, nappy change creams to baby wipes, parents are spoilt for choice. However, did you know that some baby products might not be suitable for a baby? Shockingly, several ingredients used in baby products contain toxic chemicals that might prove harmful.
According to a study done by the US-based non-profit organisation, Environmental Working Group, 82 per cent of products that are promoted as 'gentle' and 'non-irritating' contain chemicals that can cause allergies in a baby. The study also revealed that 36 per cent of children are exposed to cancer-causing ingredients.
Dr Madhuri Prabhu* says, "Of late, as a pediatrician, I HAVE come across newborns with allergic rashes all over the body which seems to subside once the use of all baby products is eliminated. In such cases, natural products like coconut oil seem to be the best option."
Although we all are exposed to millions of man-made chemicals daily, babies are at risk to these chemicals because their immune systems are not yet fully developed. One way we can protect babies is by avoiding baby products that have harmful chemicals.
You can start by minimising your baby’s exposure to these products slowly. Remember, there is no need to use products on your baby simply because they smell good. Stick to natural products such as olive and coconut oils for your baby's skin. Read labels carefully, minimise the use of baby care products to ensure good health for your little one.
*Validated by Dr Madhuri Prabhu, Consultant Neonatologist based in Chennai.
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