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Why the Beauty Industry Needs a Makeover: WATCH The Story of Cosmetics

safecosmetics_300True or False: The government prohibits dangerous chemicals in personal care products, and the beauty industry wouldn’t risk using them.

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Toxic Cosmetics: 300 Contaminants Found in Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood

Baby Essentials That Aren't Part 8: Swim Diapers?

Photo by rutloNo swim diapers needed!

No swim diapers needed!

In the spirit of telling you about products we don’t think you need (adding to Heather‘s original series) so you can reduce your consumption and at the risk of upsetting those that find such items invaluable (like nursing bras), we wonder…do you really need swim diapers?

As the spring time weather warms, more and more readers are coming to Eco Child’s Play from swim diaper Google searches.  Although Kristen did review reusable swim diapers in the past, this is one baby item that I have never purchased or used.   My experiences may be different, as most of our early swim time occurred at the river or in private pools, but my cloth diapered babes never wore anything when they swam.

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DHA in Infant Formula: Is it Safe?

Photo by abbybatchelderDHA in infant formula causes diarrhea

DHA in infant formula causes diarrhea

I am guilty of being swayed by news of miracle supplements such as DHA.  DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oils touted for benefiting nervous system development and prevention of heart disease.  I give my five-year-old son with verbal apraxia fish oil supplements, but the use of DHA in infant formulas has come under scrutiny lately for causing “severe diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and gastrointestinal pain”  In fact, the Cornucopia Institute is calling on the FDA to place warning labels on DHA containing infant formula.

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Midwives in Afghanistan Try to Rebuild Women's Health Care System

Afghan midwives trying to rebuild professionFor women of Afghanistan, pregnancy and delivery are dangerous.  The war torn country has the “world’s second-highest death rate in women during pregnancy and childbirth”, second only to another war torn country Sierra Leone. The medical journal Lancet reports that 78% of these maternal deaths could be avoided. The New York Times reports:

For every 100,000 births, 1,600 mothers die; in wealthy countries the rates range from 1 to 12. In one remote northeastern province, Badakhshan, 6,507 mothers die for every 100,000 births, according to a 2005 report in the medical journal Lancet. In all, 26,000 Afghan women a year die while pregnant or giving birth. The main causes of these deaths are hemorrhage and obstructed labor, which can be fatal if a woman cannot obtain a Caesarean section. Even if the mother survives, obstructed labor without a Caesarean usually kills the baby.

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Natural Pregnancy Care: Prevent Stretchmarks with Elasticity Belly Oil

Belli natural oils prevent strechmarksI gained a lot of weight with both of my pregnancies, and one thing I did religiously was drink lots of water and apply essential oils to my belly. The result:  I have very few stretchmarks that are not noticeable. Belli Elasticity Belly Oil is the perfect natural product for preventing stretchmarks during pregnancy.

Belli Pregnancy is concerned about the products women put on their skin while pregnant.

Most pregnant women know that what they put – or don’t put – in their bodies is important to the health of their baby…Most of us slather on layers of lotions and creams every day, but we don’t think about what might be being absorbed into our bodies through our skin. With a growing baby in your belly, this is a necessary concern.  There are many considerations one should take into account for pregnancy skin care products…Some products may contain ingredients that can potentially cause birth defects or fetal abnormalities…Belli is the only company in the world to perform teratology screening of our ingredients to help guard against birth defects.

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Unabashedly Organic, Planet-Saving Kids Clothes by Barley and Birch

organic, sustainable kids clothes I get really excited when I find a new kids’ company that gets it…really gets it.  Barley and Birch is one of those companies!

Barley & birch is a scientist-created and artist-designed children’s clothing line. All aspects of our business are carbon neutral, including everything from the energy used by our computers to the energy used in the production of our garments. All of our pieces are made in the U.S. by using 100% certified organic cotton. Our business is largely paperless, and all paper used is 100% recycled. We go beyond the level of convenience in order to be fair to our customers and to our planet.

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TV Viewing Causes Lag in Infant Language Development

TV hurts children\'s language developmentMore bad news for television:  “Television exposure during infancy is associated with language delays and attentional problems,” according to Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Of particular concern are homes in which the television is on all the time, which amounts to 30% of all households! In these situations, less interaction, critical for infant language development, occur because of the interference of the television.

Christakis and his colleagues studied 329 two-month to four-year-old children and their parents. Children were monitored for two years recording what they heard or said for 12 to 16 hours.  Researchers did not calculate whether the children and their parents were actively watching TV or if it was just on in the background during the research.  The results, according to Live Science:

Analyses of the recordings revealed that each hour of additional television exposure was linked with a decrease of 770 words (7 percent) the child heard from an adult during the recording session. Hours of television were also associated with a decrease in the number and length of child vocalizations and the back and forth between the child and an adult (called a conversational turn).

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UK Growth Charts Adjusted for Breastfed Babies

Growth charts change to reflect breastfeeding physical developmentGrowth charts in the UK have not been updated since 1990 and were originally created based on the physical development of formula fed babies.

New guidelines are being introduced that reflect the slower growth rates of breastfed babies.

Using the new growth charts, more children will be classified as overweight. [Read more…]

Green Giveaway: Print*Pattern*Paper 5 x 7 Signed Art for Your Child's Room

Last month, we shared with you a folk art eco-friendly lunch pack by Print*Pattern*Paper.  This month, we are featuring a green giveaway of a signed 5″ x 7″ folk art print by Print*Pattern*Paper founder, CEO, artist, and designer Rebecca Peragine.  To enter, simply visit Print*Pattern*Paper’s art page, select your favorite print from the 30 prints featured, and leave a comment to this post with the print’s name.  On Wednesday, March 11, 2009, a random winner will be selected from the comments, and the lucky person will win the print of their choice!  This contest is limited to residents of Canada and the United States. [Read more…]

Gidget Goes Green: How My Journey Started

why moms go green

Editor’s note: The following post was originally published on Green and Clean Mom. “Green & Clean Mom can inspire you to try a little harder, be a catalyst for change and to offer you some new tips and news on how to be the green, sexy and sassy mom…I know you are!”

When my daughter was born (May 2007), I bought and used the well-known products that most parents use, the common brands of lotions and soaps, the standard baby furniture and linens, the cute clothes that were given as gifts. I planned to make my own baby food, and maybe even buy organic foods, but I was totally unaware of the toxicity of everyday name brands and common personal care products, even the ones that claimed to be “natural.”

One day, when talking to a friend about homemade baby food and buying organic, she recommended a book to me called Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Dr. Alan Greene. I checked it out at the library, devoured it, and decided I needed to buy it to have on hand as a resource. The book opened my eyes to simple ways and reasons why to de-toxify and pointed me to where my little green revolution really began: Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

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Forget the Talc: Prevent Diaper Rash with Bummas Eco-Friendly Cloth Wipes

cloth wipes prevent diaper rashI’ve seen some nasty diaper rash in my day (thankfully those days are over). My only solution was bare buns for awhile, but sometimes you got to put a cloth diaper on the rash covered bum to head out of the house.

Many parents rely on diaper rash creams and talc, but the solution to diaper rash is much easier and cheaper in the long run if you use cloth wipes.

Bummas has the solution!  What are Bummas?  Bummas are:

Bummas are small soft, luxurious baby-sized cloths made especially for drying baby bottoms, as well as blocking those surprise squirts. And with a little douse of water, they can also replace wet wipes for clean up of sensitive bums. They are small enough to conveniently carry on the go and durable enough to wash over and over again and won’t pill shrink or fade. We think you will find Bummas to be an indispensable item in your diaper changing regimen.

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Incubator Made from Recycled Car Parts Could Prevent Millions of Newborn Deaths

recycled incubator

A group of innovative inventors from Design that Matters have built an incubator from recycled car parts that could prevent millions of newborn deaths in the developing world.

According to DtM, 3.9 million infants in the developing world die every year within a month of birth. 25 percent of those deaths are due to complications of prematurity, usually heat and water loss.[social_buttons]

Dr. Kristian Olson, the principal investigator in the project, says the main causes of newborn death – infections, preterm birth and asphyxiation – are readily treatable with the right expertise and equipment. He hopes to create a cheap, reliable incubator that can be serviced easily with existing resources.

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Made in Canada With Love: Organic, Frilly Baby Clothes From Bizoux Bizoux

organic pink frilly baby clothes in pointelleGone are the days of seriously crunchy looking organic baby clothes in olive drab. Today, even the girly girl babies can be adorned in organic cotton.  Pink frills are in!

Time Well Spent Gifts, a Canadian online gift shop devoted to supporting Canadian artists and designers, features adorable organic baby outfits by Canadian designer Martine Guay of Bizoux Bizoux.  The Pink Pointelle Outfit is trimmed with pink for a delicate, frilly touch.  

In knitting, pointelle is a knitting pattern which creates an openwork design. A pointelle garment tends to be cooler than a solid knit, making it more suitable for warmer months.

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