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
Fragrance is a word that can be deceiving. It doesn't refer just to colognes and perfumes, but to anything that gives scent, and the EWG warns it's a catch-all word that covers a lot of chemicals.
Where It's Hiding: Just about any health and beauty product you'd buy for your child, from soap to shampoo to bubble bath, could have a fragrance hiding in it. Also beware of handwipes and anything else with a "smell," and fragrance on the label.
Why You Should Avoid It: Regulations are loose, and the 3,000-plus chemicals the word "fragrance" represents can cause anything from allergic reactions to birth defects, depending on what they are.