We believe what we see. We tend to buy baby products which are aggressively marketed and promoted on television and print. But remember, not all products are safe for babies, especially baby powder. Indian Pediatrics as well as international doctors do not recommend using baby powder.
Fancy ads on Television had leads to mothers buying these products. Back then, our mothers have bought us up with baby powder when we were small, talcum powder when we grew little big. There was not much awareness of social media or lack of it. You might think that, what harm could baby powder possibly cause on my baby?
So Why Is Using Baby Powder Unsafe For Babies?
When you use baby powder, along with the lovely smell, it also releases many micro particles which can be easily inhaled by your baby. The risk of developing lung and respiratory problems is higher in babies who are born prematurely, have had frequent respiratory illnesses or are born with congenital heart disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using baby powder because of the same reason. In 2013, Food and Drug Administration cancelled the license of a well-known baby powder brand after 15 batches of baby powder products were found sterilized by an irritant and cancer-causing component. Ethylene Oxide used for sterilization is very dangerous. It is an anesthetic gas with a misleading pleasant smell.
Cornstarch And Talcum Based Baby Powders
Most baby powders are talcum based, and hence the particles can be easily inhaled. Talcum based powders contain tiny particles of soft mineral called Talc. These powders are extremely bad for baby, if inhaled. However, some baby powders are cornstarch based as well, which are considered safe if used sparingly and carefully. That is because cornstarch based powder has slightly larger particles and thus are less airborne to be inhaled by the baby.
In case, your baby has a diaper rash, kindly refrain from using any type of powder. This will only worsen baby’s delicate skin. It is preferable to use diaper rash cream or ointment for cure diaper rash. Doctors say that using baby powder in the diapers does in no way help to heal or lessen the rashes. Using a rash cream would help, for that matter. In case you notice any chapped skin or infection of any kind, do not apply powder. Consult your doctor at the earliest.
If your baby has asthma or respiratory illness, it is advisable to stay away from all types of powders because an even tiniest particle of powder is capable to irritate baby’s lungs, if inhaled. If you still insist on applying powder, then it is better to go to reputed and well-known brand.
Do Babies Need Baby Powder?
Frankly, babies do not need powder at all over their body. If the powder accumulates in the folds of hands, legs, neck or genital areas- it can cause skin irritation. Keep the powder container away from baby’s reach. In fact, if you have older children, place the powder somewhere safe lest you find pleasant smelling white dust all around, and your baby inhales the same. Many mothers use powder to sooth the skin after diaper change. It is always better to air-dry baby’s skin after every diaper change. Diaper rash occurs when wet or dirty diapers are in contact with the skin for a long time. If you think that applying pleasant smelling powder keeps the baby fresh whole day then think again. Sometimes these powders dry the skin and take away the moisture from baby’s skin. You are harming the baby in the long run. Try changing dirty diapers at frequent intervals to avoid nappy rash. Let baby’s skin be in its natural state. Do not try to irritate it by applying products that do more harm than good.
If I Have To, How Should I Use Baby Powder For My Baby?
If your baby is not allergic to any powder and does not have breathing issues, you can use very little powder. Try to go for cornstarch based powders. Read the label and content carefully. Make sure it does not contain phthalate and talc. Whenever you sprinkle powder on baby, make sure, you spray away from far and not directly on him / her. You can take some powder on your hands and then use it on the baby. Never let powder to accumulate on your baby’s skin. Give instructions to your massage lady, not to use any baby powder on your baby after the shower. Also let your nanny know that each diaper change need not be accompanied with a dab of powder. It is high time, that we as parents educate ourselves and do research before buying any baby products. Gone are the days when our parents bought us up, believing old wives tales. Today, when every product is adulterated, it becomes important to pull up our socks and get your research done before buying.