Chemicals in Common Children’s Products

I have always used a Johnson and Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Soap. It isn’t the most organic and crunchy product, but a lot of the more “natural” products contain gluten so I stuck with Johnson’s and Johnson’s. I picked up some Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo last week when they were out of the Head to Toe. I figured the products must be similar–boy was I wrong.

My son developed hives all over his body from the Baby Shampoo. I called the company to find out the ingredients that were different from the clear Head to Toe product we usually use. There are 3 different ingredients: Yellow 10 and Orange 4 and Sodium Hydroxide.

The pediatrician told us to use Zyrtec to get rid of the hives and I explained my son hadn’t had as much as an asprin for over a year since his severe reaction to an antibiotic injection. But he said I should carry some in case he had a more severe reaction sometime.

I bought Benedryl instead because it has been around longer. But the benadryl didn’t take the hives away so the next day I gave him a teaspoon of Zyrtec. And guess what–he got hives from the Zyrtec. It turns out that Zyrtec contains Sodium Hydroxide which is, guess what??? A corrosive drain cleaner. It is a “caustic metallic base” used to change the ph of the shampoo.
Chances are your child will not have a severe reaction to sodium hydroxide — it’s in a lot of products. But, I thought I would share this story with you, because it is a wake up call to me about the chemicals in the products we use on a daily basis.

WHAT TO DO: Look up your regular product on which is an incredible online cosmetic safety database. If you must use a mainstream product, use the CLEAR Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash not the yellow shampoo. We are going to switch to California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Bodywash. Also, Frangrance Free is best for all products.

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  • Lynna Kay - Hi there. Found your blog by searching for information on the rally in DC. My son has autism and is on the GFCF diet. We are about to place our other son on it – he has sensory processing disorder. Anyway, saw this post and wanted to add that our pediatric dermatologist told us to never use Johnson and Johnson due to the fact it dries out the skin severely. I would never have guessed a soap geared for babies would have so much wrong with it – but I don’t guess about anything anymore with my kids and what goes in or on their bodies. Your blog is great and keep up the good work!ReplyCancel

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