Eco-Friendly Kids Bedding

April 24, 2011 View all articles in Family

You probably aren't aware that your babies and growing kids are exposed to chemical fabric treatments, pesticides, artificial colors, dyes, and hazardous flame retardants every time you tuck them in at night. Even scarier than the thought of your children inhaling and absorbing these chemicals through their skin as they sleep is the fact that, as a result, they are likely to experience negative health effects ranging from headaches to serious allergic reactions.

In fact, according to Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Toddler On The Block , detergents and chemical treatments on crib sheets and other bedding are the number-two cause of eczema rashes for babies, after food allergies (GreenYour.com).

If at this point you're panicking over your children's synthetic bedding materials, we have some easy solutions that will have both you and your kids resting easy without nightmares of pesticide and chemical pollution.

ORGANIC COTTON BEDDING FOR CHILDREN

While cotton is traditionally considered the best material for bedding, it is usually treated with pesticides, chlorine bleach, dyes, even fire retardants and stain treatments. And even though cotton is generally regarded as a natural crop, over half of all American cotton is grown from genetically engineered seeds. The simplest solution is to replace as many of your child's bedding items (blankets, comforters, barrier covers, sheets, crib quilts, etc.) with naturally clean, nontoxic, unbleached, organic fibers as possible, since organic cotton is grown and processed without insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

A quick Internet search will yield numerous buying options for organic cotton sheets, and local retailers may carry them as well. Here are a few online shops to get you started:

KIDS BAMBOO BEDDING

Bamboo does not require the use of pesticides or fertilizers due to an inherent antifungal, antibacterial agent called “bamboo kun.” That same internal pesticide found in bamboo plants is present in fabrics made from bamboo fibers, and controls bacteria growth on the skin. The viscose from bamboo fibers is also a natural insulator. Through its cultivation, bamboo protects against soil erosion, reduces rain runoff, and releases more oxygen and sequesters more carbon dioxide than other trees. So altogether, bamboo fabrics have the power to wick away moisture, regulate temperature (so babies and kids stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter), inhibit bacterial growth, naturally resist odor, and provide some important environmental benefits by being pesticide free, sustainable, and renewable.

Bamboo bedding isn't as easy to find as organic cotton bedding, however, and it tends to be more expensive. But the sites found below may prove helpful in your search:

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