Babies. We can’t resist stroking and nuzzling a baby’s soft skin. It’s so freshly new and free of life’s scars, flawless and full of potential. A baby's skin takes about 9 months to fully develop in the womb. The outer layer, known as the epidermis, is incredibly thin compared to a grown adult’s, about 20 - 30% thinner to be exact. A baby’s skin also contains less oil and melanin (pigment). A baby’s skin is very delicate, making infants extremely vulnerable in the world, requiring our vigilant attention and love to keep them protected.
Unfortunately, our world has become a host to many harsh chemicals and most have not been properly tested for human safety. As parents, we have to become more aware of what products we allow into our children's lives. We might be concerned with having the right toys and the right foods, but what is often forgotten is what our little ones sleep on. Babies sleep for 10 - 14 hours a day on their crib mattress. They breathe in and absorb through their skin whatever is in their mattress, so it’s important to make sure we know the facts.
What you may not know about crib mattresses:
- Since the 70’s, fire retardant chemicals have been added to mattresses and furniture.
- Polyurethane foams that make up the bulk of mattress ingredients often include, formaldehyde, paraquat, acetone and other potentially harmful chemicals.
- Many of these chemicals used have been proven to cause endocrine, reproductive, thyroid, developmental and neurological disorders in humans including hyperactivity, and learning disorders.
- Chlorinated Tris (TDCPP) is a commonly used flame retardant, which is listed as a carcinogen and has been found to change the DNA of people exposed to it.
- Most crib mattresses are made waterproof by using a vinyl covering. Vinyl (polyvinyl chloride or PVC) is one of the most toxic plastics in use and is a known human carcinogen. Chemical plasticizers are added to make the PVC soft and flexible. These plasticizers are not bound to the vinyl, and end up off-gassing. Plasticizer chemicals can cause health concerns including asthma, early onset of puberty, cancer, kidney and liver damage.
- In 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was created. Since then, only a few hundred of the 85,000 chemicals used on the market have been fully tested for human safety.
- The breakdown of chemical foams have been found to bond to household dust, which is then breathed in.
- North America is still using chemicals that have been banned in other countries.
- Many companies “greenwash” by claiming to be organic, when only a portion of their product contains chemical free materials.
New parents rejoice. The new organic options have arrived in downtown Duncan. Resthouse has partnered with Savvy Rest, and Naturepedic to bring healthy options in every price range to make sure the choice is easy. We carry crib mattresses, toddler pillows and waterproof mattress covers, all made without the weird science. With third party certifications, you can rest easy knowing you’ve taken the best care to protect your sensitive little ones from harmful chemicals that occur in conventional baby products.
So, make sure your baby is safe by choosing certified organic. Please, share your new knowledge with all the expectant parents you know and together we can protect the babies of the world.
New Zealand Inspiration
There have been scientific studies in New Zealand looking into sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and if it may be caused by a baby breathing in mattress chemicals or absorbed them through their skin. Although this has not been scientifically proven, the country created a task force comprised of midwives and health professionals that have been running a successful SIDS prevention campaign for the past two decades. Throughout the country, they advise wrapping baby mattresses in a special protective natural cover, to prevent toxic off-gassing. Of the approximate 200,000 people who adopted this method of prevention, there has not been a single SIDS death reported amongst them since implementing this program. This result has led many to believe that more research desperately needs to be done. It certainly warrants caution until such a time as this study gets under way.
Until next time, sleep well.
Resthouse Sleep Solutions
126 Station Street, Duncan, BC, Canada V9L 1M7