Monday, April 06, 2009

kid tested?

There have been lots of alarms sent out lately about products made especially for children that are laced with horrible things like formaldehyde and carcinogens. There have even been some articles refuting these claims. Now I don't usually buy the Dora or Batman or other cartoon-tie-in bath stuff. My daughter has inherited my sensitive skin and we never use any bubble bath. I pour a tiny bit of Dove liquid soap as the water runs to give her some bubbles, but that's it. For shampoo I buy the No More Tears that I grew up on - how can that be dangerous? Sigh. I threw out the almost empty shampoo we had that was (of course!) on the dangerous products list and bought Burt's Bees and put it out of my mind.

Coincidentally a few days later during a bath we sprayed some detangler in her hair and when I wasn't looking she decided to give herself a spritz - on her head and face. When I looked the whole side of her face was bright red with a rash. Luckily a little calming cream took care of that, but it made me think about kid's products again and about marketing products for children (and their parents) and also the strength or dosage of those products.

I try to keep us as healthy as possible, but I don't want to overload my kid (or myself) with too many products. For the most part cleaning your hands with soap and water and just rinsing off in the tub is enough. I don't even think you need all that much soap when you bathe - it just dries out the skin, especially for dry skin types. Of course I'm supposed to then slather her with lotion when she gets out of the tub, many of which were on the no-no list, too.

When I was buying toothpaste for myself the other day I was trying to find just one toothpaste that didn't have extra whitening or mouthwash or peroxide or etc., etc., add-ons. My dentist told me I could buy a whitening toothpaste, but to only use it every once in a while - it's not a good idea to use it every day. When most people walk into CVS or Safeway are they thinking that they might be buying something that will erode the enamel from their teeth? No, they are just trying to have whiter teeth, because that's what we're all supposed to have, right? And I don't like Tom's toothpaste - whatever their mint concoction is, it actually irritates my gums, so "natural" products aren't always the answer. I finally settled on a toothpaste aimed at kids - it was the only one that had just fluoride in it, with no extras. So yes, I'm brushing with Crest Hannah Montana strawberry flavor. Or it might be cherry.

I have found that most over-the-counter allergy medicines are too strong for me, too, so I usually take the kid's doses or even products made especially for children. It's more than enough, and I don't get stuck with as many side effects. My daughter's pediatrician told me at our last visit that she only takes kid's products for her own allergies. This while she's writing a prescription nose spray for my kid. Hmmm...

I know that everybody's different and what might work for me and my family wouldn't necessarily work for others. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who can tolerate or can't get by without the "grown-up" medicines, whether OTC, or prescription strength. But I think we are going to try and dial down when we can all the "extra special" stuff that is available to us out there. Keep it as simple as possible.


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