Hypoallergenic bedding that is organic and chemical-free is a smart choice for all children, not just those with allergies or chemical sensitivities. Modern, commercially produced bedding contains many toxic substances that have been linked to adverse reactions in scientific studies. Some of these chemicals are suspected of causing health problems in children.
Hypoallergenic simply means that the material is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in a child. Some people think that natural bedding will be more allergenic – or allergy inducing. This is a myth. Your child is more likely to have an allergic reaction to a strange chemical than to a pure and natural material.
Feathers and dust are some of the most common natural allergens and have given organic bedding a bad reputation. But you can easily avoid problems. If your child is allergic to feathers, buy a synthetic pillow and cover it with a cotton pillowcase. There are also alternatives like wool or silica filled pillows. A cotton cover should be enough however, and allergies to pure cotton are rare. Hypoallergenic bedding can also be washed frequently to keep it free of dust and dust mites. Use an organic detergent without artificially added scent if you have a sensitive child.
One of the biggest dangers in children’s bedding are the substances used in the flame retardants that are commonly applied to children’s linens. Flame resistant treatments are routinely added to children’s bedding, pajamas and blankets.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) list some of the various toxic chemicals used in children’s bedding. Among the substances used to fireproof bedding are: formaldehyde, antimony trioxide, zinc Borate, and melamine. Some of these chemicals, like formaldehyde, are known toxins that “out-gas” or give off fumes. For other substances, safety for products made for human use has not been determined.
Chemicals like boric acid (an ingredient roach poison) is also frequently added to commercial bedding. Boric acid is a poison and it’s usually applied to bedding to make sheets and pillowcases dust mite resistant. This chemical is unnecessary since dust mites can be eliminated with frequent washing, and by drying bedding on high heat. The safest course for parents is to seek out and purchase formaldehyde and chemical-free sheets, blankets, pillow cases and comforters.
For the health and benefit of your child – know what the bedding you choose is made of and look for labels that say “chemical and formaldehyde-free”.