Every expectant mother looks forward to the day when they get to pick out baby clothes. Buying a variety of baby and toddler clothes can be fun, but what several parents do not know is that toxic chemicals can be found in a variety of clothing items. Adults do not have much of a problem withstanding such chemicals, but for young children who have not had time to establish a strong immune system, it can be a problem. It is important for parents to be on the lookout while shopping and to be aware of how to reduce the risk of chemicals that could possibly harm their children.
What is the Harm?
Sadly, just because children's clothing is being sold in a store does not always mean that it has been treated for harmful chemicals. Things such as fire retardants, water repellents, colored dyes, formaldehyde finishes, plastic and cotton pesticides can all be harmful to children. Many of these chemicals also come with the risk of causing cancer. Several of these chemicals, such as fire retardants and water repellents, are presented as being a safety finish for clothing, when in realty, it is actually causing damage.
What to Buy
The safest clothing parents can buy for their children is untreated cotton or items with natural fibers. Several outlets are available where parents can purchase clothing made from organic materials that have not been messed with. Most of these are made with natural dyes as well so parents do not have to worry about purchasing colored clothing. It is also important to purchase accessories, such as toddler belts, from a trusted company, such as Baby Beltz, that does not finish their product with harmful chemicals.
With clothing, it is not just the chemicals within the clothes that can be harmful to children. Scented laundry detergent, fabric softener and bleach also contain chemicals that can cause damage. The chemicals contained in these substances never comes all the way out. Moth balls also contain dangerous chemicals that never come out of clothing. It is best for parents to use unscented detergent alone when doing laundry for their children and to also be aware of what ingredients are in any stain removers or detergents.
Not everyone can afford to buy clothing that only comes from organic material, but there is another option. Several parents go through a phasing process with their child's clothing. Basically, they use natural treatments that work to remove the chemicals over time. The treatments used most often include vinegar and baking soda. Soaking clothing in one of these substances overnight works to remove the chemicals found within finishes and dyes. From the fabrics purchased from the store, the safest choices tend to be polyester or nylon, as they off-gas the least amount of harmful chemicals.
Although it can be a frightening thing, it is important that parents spread the knowledge about possible chemicals within their children's clothing. The sad truth is that companies care more about the profit than the risk and will continue to sell harmful possibilities. In order to guard against it, parents need to take the right steps towards keeping their children safe.