Do you remember when shopping for kids was easy? Back when the main criteria for making a purchase were price and cuteness factor? Oh, those were the days ... before everything was so loaded down with toxic chemicals that buying a bottle of stuff to untangle your 6-year-old's mane requires a dictionary to decipher the ingredient list.
Most of the time that means buying something that "looks" like it should be OK. But how do you know if that new sport bottle really is safe? If that new bottle of "kids" shampoo is going to give them cancer? How about a list of the biggest, baddest toxic nasties that you need to avoid at all costs when you're shopping for your kids?
The Stir asked the experts at the non-profit watchdog the Environmental Working Group to help us come up with a list of the top five ingredients in any child product that parents need to avoid. They did that and threw in two more biggies to keep away from the kids.
No more trying to figure out what every single word on the back of the bottle means: if any of these terms show up, you'd be better off putting it right back on the shelf.
What are the words you look for on the ingredients list of any kid product?
Image by Jeanne Sager
Flame retardants or PDBES are fortunately being phased out by many companies but are still present in a lot of older products and can still crop up today. Studies have found kids' bloodstreams contain as much as three times the concentration of PDBES as the blood of their moms.
Where They're Hiding: Mostly used in electronics and foams, when we're talking kids, think car seats, mattresses, and foam pillows.
Why They Should Be Avoided: Linked to neurological issues, the folks at EWG say studies of mice found even miniscule exposure to fire retardants could cause hyperactivity.