The hidden toxins in your child’s bathroom – five changes to make today
I always remember the first time I opened a bath mat for my baby and was almost bowled over by the stench of PVC. I now know that PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride, is one of the most toxic plastics around and is linked to childhood allergies, problems with reproductive development and many different types of cancer. Yet PVC bath mats are sold on every high street, meaning children are routinely sat on them in their baths each night.
We soon realised that a similar story can be found with other children’s bath products. The list of ingredients in some top brands of baby shampoo and body wash is almost indecipherable and the chemicals used are often proven to be hazardous to health. Plastic bath toys almost always have a hole in them, meaning that they quickly become filled with harmful black mould which then disperses into our children’s bath water. Many top brand children’s toothpastes contain chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Solfate which has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption. Most parents would be alarmed if they were fully informed about what their children were ingesting and absorbing, either through their mouths or their skin, each night.
Here at Green Monkeys, we have spent a significant amount of time researching and trialling the safest bath time products for your precious little ones. Our focus has started in the following five areas. If you make these changes, it will make a huge difference to the amount of toxins your children are exposed to before they go to bed.
1. Buy a bath mat made of natural rubber
This 100% natural rubber bath mat is a non-toxic and eco-friendly alternative to plastic or synthetic rubber mats. Your little monkeys will be able to splash to their hearts content without risking slipping or sitting on any harmful chemicals. Even better, natural rubber is biodegradable which means this is a fantastic option for families who aim to take better care of our environment. It is naturally BPA, phthalate, PVC, colour and plastic-free. Perfect for peace of mind during bath time.
2. Choose a shampoo and body wash containing simple, natural ingredients
Here at Green Monkeys, we are big fans of coconut oil and the wonders it can do for a child’s (and adult’s) skin. Kokoso Baby Body Wash for Body and Hair is brimming with high quality organic coconut oil and is one of our favourite children’s bath products. Its ingredients are simple and pure - rated ‘green’ and ‘non-toxic’ on EWG’s skincare database which tests skincare products for their effect on the environment and human health. The coconut oil used is very light weight so sinks easily and quickly into a child’s delicate skin, leaving it smooth and gorgeous to touch.
We have also recently tried the new Natural bath time range from Jack N' Jill and have been very impressed. Their Simplicity Bubble Bath uses quinoa (to prevent dry skin) and soap bark (a natural soap and cleanser) and avoids all nasties. It is free from parabens, sulfates, palm oil, synthetic fragrances and colour. Without any worrying ingredients, we can sit back and enjoy natural bath time fun with our little ones.
3. Switch to a natural toothpaste and an environmentally friendly toothbrush
Our experience is that it is almost impossible to stop a wriggly toddler from swallowing toothpaste. Yet the fluoride in most toothpastes (not to mention the sugar, chemicals and artificial flavours) means that swallowing it can be harmful to our children’s health. Jack N’ Jill’s natural toothpaste is free from all the nasties so that it is completely safe for children to swallow. It is chemical free, sugar free, fluoride free, SLS/SPA free and 100% organic. It comes in five delicious natural flavours as well as a non-flavoured option. It is a hit with our little ones and we are certain it will be with yours too.
Pair the natural toothpaste with the biodegradable and compostable handle of the Jack N’ Jill corn starch toothbrush and water cup made from bamboo and rice husks, to do your part for the environment as well as your children’s health.
4. Replace mouldy plastic bath toys with fully enclosed, natural rubber toys
These bath toys from Hevea Planet are made of non-toxic, 100% natural rubber. This means that they are good for both our children’s health and the planet. They are free from BPA, phthalates, plastics, petroleum and PVC. They have no hole in the bottom which means that mould cannot build up inside them. They are soft and malleable yet durable, so just right for tiny babies and toddlers to grasp and squeeze. We love the cute designs as well as the benefits for health and the planet.
5. Wrap your little one up after their bath in an organic cotton sleepsuit or pair of pyjamas
Ok, so it's not quite bathroom related directly, but nothing helps your little one towards a good night’s sleep like a soft, cosy sleepsuit or pair of pyjamas after a warm bath. We are in love with the organic cotton children’s nightwear from Bath based company, Sleepy Doe. Sleepy Doe is run by a Mum who has made it her personal ambition to ensure that all methods of manufacturing of her nightwear are sustainable and ethical. Furthermore, no harmful dyes are used in the printing method and all products are printed on GOTS certified organic cotton, ecologically sourced. It’s a big thumbs up from Green Monkeys.