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Babies & Indoor Air Quality

Does your baby’s skin become red, dry and itchy after using toiletries? Or perhaps you notice that they get watery eyes, become short of breath or seem dizzy? If so, your baby might be allergic to the fragrance added to these products.

If your child is sensitive to any of the scented ingredients in these products they could develop eczema, hives or contact dermatitis. What's more, inhalation of fragrances can trigger asthma or other respiratory issues.

According to the Canadian Lung Association, 72% of people who suffer from asthma have adverse reactions to fragrances and perfumes. When you consider 3 million people in Canada suffer from asthma, 600,000 of them children under the age of 12, there's a strong case for using fragrance-free toiletries and products. Some added fragrances contain up to 3,000 different chemicals, any of which could be causing your baby's allergic reaction.

Due to Canadian legislation regulated by Health Canada, any and all cosmetics or toiletries that contain fragrances must include "PARFUM" in the ingredient list. That means there are added chemicals to the product that can affect your indoor air quality. Look for products that state they are "fragrance-free" or "unscented". Still check the labels though...they may have PARFUM listed to cover up other scents in the product.

Be wary of products claiming to be "hypoallergenic"...this is neither a legal or scientific term. It simply means that the manufacturer has chosen ingredients to produce a finished product with minimum potential for causing allergy. This does not guarantee that the product will not cause an allergic reaction in some individuals, since people are allergic to a wide range of substances. There are no non-allergenic cosmetics.

If your baby is still experiencing symptoms after making changes to improve the indoor air quality of your home of course it's always best to see your medical service provider to rule out any more serious issues that could be the culprit.

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