Safe Clothes for Kids


“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” – Frederick Douglass


Everyone wants their babies to be well and healthily dressed. We research so much, before buying clothes, to make our babies look cute. Retailers and brands have responded back to our demands for good looking clothes and today market is flooded with beautiful baby clothes. We try numerous vibrant colors varying with the season. We pick up clothes with various finishes, like water repellent and flame resistance to keep our babies dry and safe. All that for our baby to look good. As if the baby cares?

All that the baby cares is for comfort. Kids want to stay comfortable and we want to see them safe. These are the two top most priorities that come first and then come the look. And if we ignore, clothing can be dangerous for children.

Proper supervision, safe environments, hazard awareness, and participating in age-appropriate activities all help reduce the risk of clothing related injury to children.

Below are ways to protect your loved ones with comfortable and safe clothes:

  • Buy organic cotton clothes. This is the top safest choice for babies and kids. Cotton is a natural fiber and organic cotton is grown without the use of chemicals fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Organic clothing will cause fewer allergies, rashes, textile contact dermatitis and reduced respiratory problems. Organic cotton clothes are never made from GMO cotton and seed are untreated. Organic cotton made kids clothes are softest and safest for the skin. Choosing organic you are safeguarding the earth too from deadly fertilizers and pesticides that conventional cotton crop is grown upon. Organic cotton growing methods are health friendly to agricultural community and do not pose harm to human life as natural ways are used to cultivate the crops. By buying organic cotton clothes you will not only be protecting you’re your kids but also farming community.
  • Make sure the organic cotton clothes you buy are not treated with toxic chemicals. Look for safety symbols on the packing like GOTS, Soil Association etc. Read more here.
  • You might find lot of suggestions to buy fire resistant sleepwear for your kids, but stop and consider reading this first. Buying pajamas made of fire-retardant fabric for your child may sound like a good idea until you consider the chemicals added to the fabric to make it fire-retardant. A study published in August 2014 found that PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), the most commonly used fire-retardant chemicals, were linked to numerous health problems.

Researchers found the chemicals were to blame for:

  • thyroid disruption
  • early onset of puberty
  • cognitive problems
  • delayed mental and physical development

“The chemicals used to make pajamas and other consumer products flame-retardant show up in water, wildlife, and human breast milk,” says pediatrician Michael Macknin, MD.

Instead of buying flame resistant sleepwear for kids read these steps to prevent a fire in the first place.

Always keep lighters, matches, and open flames out of the reach of children. Choose snug-fitting sleepwear with tight waists, ankles, and wrists. These are less likely to contact a flame or other ignition sources. Don’t allow children to sleep in baggy T-shirts or adult sleepwear. Teach children to Stop, Drop, and Roll if their clothing catches fire

  • Remove drawstrings from the hoods, waists, and bottoms of children’s jackets and other garments. Use other closures to keep hoods fastened securely. Actively supervise young children around playground equipment.
  • Wash new clothes before your kids wear them. New clothes come with various chemical finishes from garment washes and bare hand handling from packing workers and store handlers.
  • Hand-Me-Down Clothes is the most eco friendly option. The clothes are washed enough to wash out all the chemicals from it. They are kid of pre-tested for safety or any allergic reactions Kids wear clothes and they outgrow them fast. This is the greenest way to get gently used, pre-tested, earth friendly clothes. In case you don’t have access to hand-me-down clothes, consider getting gently used clothes from clothes swap parties.

Try second hand clothes; you can easily get away with it especially when your child is an infant. A friend, neighbor, or colleague with a slightly older child may happily pass along their child’s too-small duds to a willing recipient. You can also scout for tag sales and thrift or consignment stores. Babies go through clothes so quickly that the small stuff is almost always in good condition.

Inspect any used clothing for unraveling thread, loose buttons or snaps, or scratchy appliqués and elastic bands. Don’t dress your child in anything that’s not as good as new or that appears unsafe to you especially anything with drawstrings of any kind. Don’t forget to wash used clothes. You can soak them in baking soda or try putting a cup of vinegar or lemon juice in your washing machine. If you are discarding some clothes then never trash. Donate them or recycle them. Drop it at a thrift store and enjoy the tax benefit.

  • Consider safety first. Be wary of tiny buttons, hooks, snaps, pom-poms, bows, and appliqués. They can be choking hazards. Routinely check clothes and fasteners for these loose items. Some clothing with heat-transferred or “tagless” labels may be associated with rashes. Avoid loosely knitted clothes—sweaters, booties, or hats—that might trap a baby’s tiny fingers or toes. Cut all dangling threads before your baby wears a garment and avoid clothing that has seams with very few stitches per inch. Before you put socks or booties on your baby, turn them inside out to look for small threads that could capture toes. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Make kids clothes last. You will feel good about passing clothes on when your kid outgrows them and it’s always a good thing. Someone else will get the benefit out of it and you can even share the experience of those clothes with whomever you pass them. Since they will be multiple times washed so it reduces the risk of any leftover chemicals in them too.

Injuries are not accidents, they are predictable and preventable! Keep safety and comfort first.

Resources:

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/12/can-wearing-fire-retardant-pajamas-affect-your-childs-health/

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/baby-clothes/buying-guide.htm

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Guides/Clothing-and-Accessories/

Image Courtesy: Pixabay.com

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