Bibs, bedding, car seats… How to choose your childcare products to avoid toxic substances?

Bibs, bedding, car seats... How to choose your childcare products to avoid toxic substances?

According to the European Chemicals Agency, carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances have been found in many childcare products. How to spot and avoid them? Camille Branger, midwife, gives us some valuable tips.

Metal, lead, phthalates, bisphenol A… Contrary to popular belief, children’s products are not free of toxic products. They are even full of them, according to a recent report from the European Chemicals Agency (Echa).

Cobalt, lead and bisphenol A

The products covered by the report? Car seats, bibs, products related to toiletries, bedding and mattresses.

They all contain CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic) substances which have various harmful effects on health.

In certain objects the European Chemicals Agency has even discovered “metals like cobalt and lead, as well as phthalates like DEHP (used to make plastic soft and classified as an endocrine disruptor)” or even tris 2-chloroethyl phosphate, formaldehyde and bisphenol A (responsible for the appearance of reproductive disorders, metabolism (obesity, diabetes) thyroid dysfunctions or even cancers, editor’s note).

The problem ? Children, who put everything in their mouth, are particularly exposed to these substances, whether through skin or oral contact.

They are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of chemicals due to their small size, developing physiology and behavior“, warns the European agency.

How can we protect our children from these substances?

If the report suggests that the famous “ecolabels” can be spotted on labels (like “Global Organic Textile Standard” or “Oeko-Tex”, guaranteeing the ban on harmful substances), Camille Branger reveals some good reflexes, easy to integrate into daily life:

  • Get closer to the maternity ward where you give birth: “For some time, maternity hospitals have been offering workshops on the prevention of endocrine disruptors. You can also contact trained health professionals.”
  • Download specialized applications: “They allow you to find out about the compositions of cosmetic products (for example UfC Que Choisir) which will rate the products more or less well..”
  • Pay attention to the products used:The fewer products you use on your baby, the better your skin will be. Choose neutral products without perfume, alcohol, allergens and dyes. We prefer cleaning with water rather than liniment and diaper cream for example..”
  • Choose the material of your baby bottles wisely”We avoid plastic as much as possible, especially for baby bottles which we choose instead in glass or medical silicone..”
  • Buy “healthy” diapers:Their composition is now very controlled, some brands also use Oeko-Tex certification which certifies the absence of harmful and dangerous substances for the skin..”