When you were a baby, your mother probably squeezed wonderful smelling baby powder on your tushy every time she changed your diaper. Her loving gesture was aimed to comfort and protect you, just like you want to do for your baby.
The Debate Over Baby Powder
While mothers undoubtedly love their babies and want what is best for them, there has been a 40-year debate over whether or not loose baby powder is safe. Over the past few years more and more doctors have started advising parents not to use loose baby powder on children.
Studies show that loose baby powder, particularly talc-based powder, is harmful to baby’s and mommy’s respiratory health. Talc contains asbestos-like fibers that are linked to ovarian and lung cancer, and despite a ruling in 1973 to eliminate the fibers from cosmetic grade talc, the industry remains largely unregulated. According to Cancer Prevention Coalition, researchers have found the same carcinogens are present in talcum powder without those fibers.
Other Reasons to Abandon Loose Powder
Not only is loose baby powder a health risk, it is also a hassle. How often have you pumped powder onto your baby’s bottom only to have to clean up scattered dust. Plus, most of us have heard nightmare stories of toddlers getting hold of forgotten bottles of powder. A few well-aimed squirts of baby powder by a two year old will create hours of extra work for an already busy mommy.
What are safe and effective alternatives?
Rather than using loose baby powder, try alternative products to absorb moisture and prevent chaffing. One practical solution is Patty Cake Dustless Baby Powder, which is doctor recommended because you apply it directly to baby’s bottom with a disposable round similar to pressed cosmetic powder.
Another option is zinc oxide diaper cream. On dry skin, the white cream creates a barrier against moisture and relieves minor skin irritation from chaffing and diaper rash.
What do I do when I receive baby powder as a gift?
Since the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against using baby powder, your best bet is to politely accept the gift and dispose of it later. If the gift giver (maybe your mom) asks about it later, then inform her of the health issues surrounding loose baby powder.