Posts Tagged ‘toddler’

Aubrey Organics Kids Line: Product Review

I picked up some Aubrey Organics Kids shampoo, bath soap (liquid) and lotion at Whole Foods in my quest to replace my Arbonne Baby Line with safer products. Aubrey Organics is free of parabens, phthalates, PEGs, dioxanes and sodium laurel sulfate.  My first place of reference in deciding which products to try was the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database. The Aubrey Organics line was rated a 2 out of 10, considered a low hazard.

I like the scent of the shampoo and body wash and it lathers nicely. In a nutshell, it gets the job done.

I did not like that these products were not tear-free. I also prefer an all-in-one shampoo and body wash, but it was not a big deal.

The lotion was also nice and smooth. You do have to shake well before each use and the scent of the lotion was very strong. My husband cannot tolerate it its so strong. And in my first trimester with baby number two, the smell got to me at times too.

The price was in line with most similar products, about $9 for an 8oz bottle.

All in all, it’s a good product line, but could be better. I give it a B- for not being tear-free or an all-in-one wash and for the strongly scented lotion.

BPA and Phthalate Free Pacifiers

Several have asked about BPA pacifiers, I have asked myself since I am 26 weeks pregnant and will be needing new pacis as well. I’ve done a little digging and these are what I found. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list, just the ones I have found. New BPA-free products are coming out all the time and it’s getting hard to keep up, which is a good thing! If you are aware of another product that is BPA free and not listed here, please let me know and I will certainly add it!

As far as I know there are not any BPA-free Avent or MAM pacifiers. The bulky part that sits on the baby’s mouth contains BPA, not the nipple. Silicone and latex nipples on bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers do not contain BPA. 

And since phthalates will be found in teethers, bath toys and rubber duckies for the next 6 months, I am working on lists for those too, so check back for more lists!

BPA & Phthalate Free Pacifiers

Born Free: 0-6 month Day and Night version and the 6+ month Day and Night version
Evenflo: Mimi Soft Touch, Mimi Premium, Mimi Neo One-Piece, Vizion, Fuzion, and Illuzion
Gerber: NUK Original, NUK Classic, NUK Nautical
Gumdrop Silicon Pacifiers
Happy Baby Soothers
Natursutten Natural Rubber Paci
Playtex: Playtex “Binky” (one piece silicone pacifier), Binky Most Like Mother Latex Pacifier, Binky Most Like Mother Silicone Pacifier, Binky Angled Pacifier, Ortho-Pro Pacifier  
The First Years: Soothies Silicone, Teething Pacifier,  Safe Comfort, Ultra Kip
Vice Versa Binky w/ Case

Please check back for more lists, coming soon!

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Congress Passes Ban on Phthalates

Recently, Congress voted to pass the Children’s Safe Product Act of 2008 which would ban phthalates, lead and cadmium from products targeted to children under 12.

Phthalates are used in children’s toys to give them their flexibility, as well as in many body care products (usually identified if the product contains “fragrance” as an ingredient. Phthalates are believed to cause early puberty in girls, premature delivery, impaired sperm quality and sperm damage in men, genital defects and reduced testosterone production in boys, genital defects and testicular cancer.

Lead, as everyone knows, is toxic and can lead to irreversible brain damage, particularly in small children. When the act takes effect, all toys will be required to go through lead testing BEFORE they hit retailers shelves (what a revolutionary idea). This falls under my “no duh” category, but grateful congress is finally seeing the light and taking steps to protect the most vulnerable consumers – our children.

While this is nothing short of great news, unfortunately, this will not be in time for parents to feel secure in buying safe products for Christmas, as the act will not take effect for 6 months. I also understand retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target will stop selling such products as of January 2009.

However, the act is certainly a good thing and a step in the right direction. From what I gather, the act is also supposed to continually review chemicals and ingredients in children’s products and constantly improve them and continue to ban harmful substances.

I do question what they are replacing phthalates with, and is it safe?  

News Articles:

Fox News
ABC news article
EWG
Bush to sign bill

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Kirkland Baby Wipes Contain Hazardous Ingredient
4 out of 5 Suncreens Do Not Work
Lead in Christmas Lights

BPA found in canned foods

This is really no surprise, but I found this Canadian article today discussing why this is an issue and why we should be concerned. The highest concern in canned foods is more acidic foods, such as tomatos and ravioli, but also chicken noodle soup. Foods often consumed by young children who are more susceptible to the harmful effects of BPA.

The article links to this great report done by Environmental Health Perspectives.

Today Show on Bishenol A (BPA)

Praise for the Today Show for discussion the use of plastics, particularly BPA. Sadly many parents have no idea that BPA is not safe at any level, yet it is found everywhere in children’s products — namely baby bottles and sippy cups.  

See the report.

During the segment, Matt Lauer interviewed Dr. Leo Trasande from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, who urged viewers to not to use PVC (#3 phthalates), polystyrene (#6 which is styrofoam) or polycarbonate containers (#7 which contains BPA).

PVC or Phthalates are commonly found in children’s toys — it gives the toys flexibility. BPA is also commonly found in the lining of canned foods. So it is not always as easy as just looking at the bottom of a container for a recycling symbol, however, it is a great start.

I have several other articles on BPA, please click on the Bisphenol-A category to the right to read more on how to avoid BPA.

Related Articles:

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  • US Government says BPA is harmful
  • Pregnant women told to avoid BPA
  • Today Show report on BPA & plastic safety
  • BPA may lead to health problems such as obesity and ADD/ADHD
  • Whole Foods private label canned food contain BPA
  • Canned foods and BPA
  • BPA is found in infant formula
  • Gerber baby food containers
  • BPA and other plastic safety
  • Z Recommends: The Z Report on BPA In Infant Care Products, Third Edition
  • Environmental Working Group: Guide to Baby Safe Bottles & Formula
  • Environmental Working Groups Report on BPA in Baby Formula
  • Breastmilk contains stem cells
  • Breastmilk cures
  • Can breastmilk cure cancer?
  • Safe, ‘Green’ Insecticides Can Reduce Chemical Exposure in Homes and Gardens

    Awesome! I have been looking for a safe alternative for pest control. I hate paying Terminix. One because they are expensive and two because I hate spraying harmful chemicals around. Additionally, these chemicals cannot be sprayed in homes with young infants (usually less than 6 weeks) which is also a concern. I will definitely check out this product, it sounds pretty good and right up my alley!

    Safe, ‘Green’ Insecticides Can Reduce Chemical Exposure in Homes and Gardens
     
    ATLANTA, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — With organic food and eco-friendly cleaning supplies now widely available, being ‘green’ at home is getting easier. When it comes to killing bugs, however, most people still reach for chemical insecticides because they are not aware that safe and effective botanical alternatives exist.

    “Most Americans don’t realize that they can kill household insects without using conventional pesticides that leave behind a harmful chemical residue,” said Steven Bessette, the president of EcoSMART Technologies, which makes organic insecticides that are safe to use around children and pets, and are recommended by the non-profit group Healthy Child, Healthy World.

    EcoSMART’s university-tested botanical pesticides kill bugs as effectively as synthetic pesticides, but their formulation is based on the centuries-old natural defenses that plants and trees use for their self-protection against insects and pathogens — essential oils. EcoSMART’s unique blends of essential oils block specific neural pathways in insects that regulate insect movement, behavior and metabolism. This results in instant immobilization and/or knockdown followed by the insect’s death. Because these neural pathways do not exist in mammals, the formulations are completely safe to use around children, animals, birds and fish.

    “There are many smart and affordable ways to create a safer, healthier environment for children,” said Christopher Gavigan, CEO / Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World, which offers free information and expertise to help create healthy environments for families and children.

    At its website, http://www.healthychild.org, parents can find tips such as these for healthier pest control:

        –  Prevent pests through good sanitation and food storage habits

        –  Remove shoes and wash hands immediately after playing outside to

            prevent tracking dirt indoors.

        –  Seal cracks and install door sweeps

        –  Use or fix window screens

        –  Manage outdoor lights to prevent insects gathering

        –  Eliminate moisture problems to keep the home dry

        –  Properly store all food

        –  Use non-toxic products

    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recent reports indicate at least one pesticide product is used indoors by 75 percent of U.S. households each year and that 80 percent of the average person’s exposure to pesticides occurs indoors EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pesticid.html.

    The active and inert ingredients in EcoSMART products are exempt from EPA registration and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These oils are commonly used to add flavor and aroma to many cosmetic, beverage and food products.

    The new 14-ounce aerosols, available in Wal-Mart, Albertsons and other large retailers, include Ant & Roach Killer, Flying Insect Killer and Wasp & Hornet Killer. Consumers can also buy EcoSMART products online at http://www.ecosmart.com.

    “EcoSMART has made it easier to protect children by reducing their exposure to harmful chemical pesticide residues while keeping homes clean and bugs under control,” Gavigan said.

    In the spring of 2008, EcoSMART will also launch a highly effective 6 oz personal insect repellent that provides 2-3 hours of protection against mosquitoes, gnats, biting flies and no-see-ums. It is DEET-free and safe for kids.

    For more information, visit http://www.ecosmart.com or call (877) 667-0006.
     

    Breastfeeding Makes Top Ten List of Cancer Preventers

    Breastfeeding Makes Top Ten List of Cancer Preventers

    Breastfeeding has been named as one of the Ten Recommendations to Prevent Cancer by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) following analysis of a major new study.

    The five-year study, released on October 31st found a strong correlation between breastfeeding and the prevention of both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal breast cancer.

    According to the study, breastfeeding lowers a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer throughout her lifetime. Equally important, the evidence shows that infants who are breastfed are likely to have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese throughout their lives. This also translates into a lower cancer risk.

    Because the evidence is so strong that breastfeeding offers cancer protection to both mothers and their children, the AICR has made breastfeeding one of its “Ten Recommendations to Prevent Cancer.”

    The study states, “at the beginning of life, human milk is best. The evidence that lactation protects the mother against breast cancer at all ages is convincing.” Furthermore, “The evidence on cancer … shows that sustained, exclusive breastfeeding is protective for the mother as well as the child.” This is the first major report to specifically recommend breastfeeding to prevent breast cancer in mothers, and to prevent overweight and obesity in children.

    The study goes on to say that “Other benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their children are well known. Breastfeeding protects against infections in infancy, protects the development of the immature immune system, protects against other childhood diseases, and is vital for the development of the bond between mother and child. It has many other benefits.” For a complete copy of the AICR report, visit: www.dietandcancerreport.org.

    Throughout its 51-year history, La Leche League International (LLLI) has supported breastfeeding mothers and their children. Celebrating its 50th year in 2006, LLLI continues to reach out to women seeking information, support, and encouragement for breastfeeding their babies. Local LLL Leaders across the United States offer support through local Group meetings and telephone help, online meetings, and a national toll-free 24-hour help line.

    For more information about breastfeeding and for mothers needing assistance with breastfeeding, contact… www.llli.org or 1-800 LA LECHE

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    Backyard and Beyond Metal Water Bottles Recalled for Lead Paint

    Another recall from a China-made product. About 18,000 Backyard and Beyond Metal Water Bottles sold between February 2006 and February 2008 have been recalled by Downeast Concepts Inc. because the paint applied during manufacturing in China is laced with lead.

    The metal bottles are green, pink or blue, they have a black sip-top, and they have colorful animals or insect graphics on the exterior. Look for model numbers 67402, 67404, 67442, 67444, 67742, 60442, 67744, 67746, 67748 and 60448 printed on the hang tag.

    The bottles were sold at major retailers, gift shops, convenience stores, mass merchandise and drug stores nationwide for about $8 apiece.

    Lead can permanently damage the brain, and in high doses cause death. Children, and pregnant mothers, should not consume any lead, as it can cause irreversible brain damage.

    For a refund, contact Downeast Concepts at (800) 343-2424 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or e-mail productsafety@downeastconcepts.com.

    Read more at the CPSC website.

    What if I want to wean my baby?

    This is a GREAT article by Diane Wiessinger. If you are debating or wanting to wean your baby, she offers great guidelines and the benefits of breastmilk at every age. Even a day is the best gift you can give your baby.

    And for those who do not want to wean, but feel the pressure to will also find comfort in this article.

    What if I want to Wean My Baby?

    Related Articles:

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  • Pregnant women told to avoid BPA
  • Breastfeeding Language
  • Formula feeding is easy
  • Importance of Breastfeeding
  • Disturbing news about ARA / DHA in infant formula
  • Long journey for mother’s milk
  • Mega Brands recalls toys

    MEGA Brands Recalls MagnaMan Magnetic Action Figures; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards Read more….

    MEGA Brands Recalls Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-School Magnetic Toys; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards Read more….

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