Kids are messy, as any parent can tell you. And in the chaotic world of parenting, any little aid to help you handle the messes is welcome.
Take, for example, baby wipes. Used for everything from cleaning up diaper messes on a baby’s bum to cleaning any number of germy and gross substances from kids’ hands and faces, this product category has become a staple among American parents.
No doubt most moms and dads have never questioned the safety of these wipes, any more than their efficacy. But a new study brought to light by NBC News may have you rethinking your dependency on these wipes, because it turns out they can cause more serious damage to your child’s delicate skin than you could ever have imagined.
In a study conducted by the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, tests revealed six different severe reactions to baby wipes, reactions that may have you tossing them right out of your bathroom cabinets.
When UConn’s Dr. Mary Wu Chang, the school’s associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics, conducted the wipes study, she found some children had extremely severe reactions. These outbreaks ranged from very bad rashes to what were essentially chemical burns. As she whittled down what various products reflected in her study had in common, she determined it was essentially one substance: methylisothiazolinone. This chemical compound is present in most name brand wipes, including Cottonelle, Huggies, and Johnson & Johnson.
But before we go any further, we should clarify that this study – which was ultimately published in the medical journal Pediatrics in 2014 – only followed six children, all of whom had had somewhat toxic reactions to wipes that had this ingredient. But the same way that one person can become asphyxiated by eating peanuts or shrimp, that doesn’t mean no one should ever eat these foods. So if you’ve used these wipes in the past and had no issues, chances are, you have nothing to worry about.
Of course, if you have any concerns whatsoever, you should consult with your own pediatrician or internist.
And remember, there’s always good old hand sanitizer, which is basically just rubbing alcohol in a gel, and soap and water, of course, Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways, so if you are worried about continuing to use the wipes on your kids, you can always get back to basics.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”