Keeping our Kids Clean without chemicals

26 July 2016

The good news is that children’s bodies are really good at taking care of themselves – just add water!  Soap can dry out young skin and should be limited to hand washing. Their hair doesn’t need washing often – once a fortnight is plenty – and the rest can generally be taken care of with water and a soft cloth.

When you use products sparingly on children you can afford to make sure they’re of a high quality – gentle and free from potentially harmful chemicals. Research indicates that children and infants are far more vulnerable to chemical exposures than adults are, and even very low levels of exposure early in life can have profound and lasting effects. Fortunately you don’t really need much to keep your kids smelling ‘sweet as’.

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Baby Care

Weleda’s Nappy Change Cream is an excellent choice for maintaining a happy baby bum. It protects babies’ delicate skin from dampness using bee’s wax and oils to repel fluids. Many of the Weleda baby care products contain calendula which has traditionally been used in skin care products for its antimicrobial and skin healing properties.

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Babies thrive on gentle touch; they may find a massage relaxing and therapeutic. Try this lovely massage oil for mothers and babies from the Artemis range.

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Hair care

Brushing your child’s hair regularly helps to shed the general detritus built up after a busy day being a kid. If your child’s hair gets knotty, we recommend using leave-in conditioner as a detangler, such as the Giovanni or A'kin products pictured below. Be wary of cheaper products marketed directly for children’s use as sometimes these products can be of a lower quality than those directed at adults.  

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When the hair does need a wash, use a gentle shampoo such as our Sukin range. For babies we also love Weleda’s Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash (see photo above), but children can safely use any of the shampoos and conditioners we stock.

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Nits! To treat head-lice we carry an effective range of shampoo and deterrents. The Holistic Hair range is a reliable killer of these tiny vermin. We also stock metal nit combs.

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Teeth

While they’ll probably want to brush their own teeth from an early age it’s hard to figure out how well your toddler is doing. Ask to have a turn and make sure you get right at the back.

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At first kids will swallow a lot of toothpaste. Ensure that what goes down is safe for their systems by opting for one that is free from chemicals (like sodium lauryl sulphate) and contains only natural ingredients, such as the ones from Weleda, Jack n’ Jill and Baby Organics. We also stock a range of BPA free toothbrushes such as the Jack n’ Jill Bio Toothbrush pictured.

Body

Our naturopaths recommend cleaning simply with water to support the healthy development of tender young skin. Use your hands or a muslin cloth to gently wipe around the chubby folds and crevasses.

Bath time is also a great opportunity to talk to your child about their bodies to help them understand what all the various bits are called and what they’re used for. Kids start off loving their bodies and being completely fascinated by them (and other peoples!). Teach them the correct words for their genitals and encourage them to clean and care for them properly themselves. You may find this awkward but remember that they are little sponges ready to absorb as much factual information as you can give them. It’s really important to encourage them to continue experiencing their bodies in a positive way – knowing that their bodies are beautiful, fascinating and extremely useful – in order to support their general health and wellbeing. 

Puberty

This is the time when all of the encouragement you provided them when they were younger (as recommended above) kicks in to support their dramatically changing bodies.

They will start to become a little bit smelly and will also need to wash their hair more regularly. Antiperspirants stop the natural perspiration function of the body so supply your children with chemical free options which work to support rather than stifle their developing bodies. We have a wide range of deodorants designed to appeal to both boys and girls. 

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For girls we have a range of chemical free menstrual products – pads, tampons and mooncups – able to support them at whatever stage they are comfortable at.

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Make Up

We realise a section on make-up really has no place in an article about kid’s hygiene but here’s some advice for those unwanted items that will inevitably find their way into your home. Whether they come “free” with a magazine purchase or a well meaning birthday gift, often kids get hold of cheap lip balms, lipsticks or nail polish that you would really rather they didn’t have. Many of these products contain a whole lot of nastiness best kept as far away from your kids as possible. To make confiscation easier we suggest swapping out the unwanted product with something much better for them. At $7.00 each the Hurraw! vegan lip balms are a great option for this and come in many delicious flavours.

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More questions?

We have qualified naturopaths and natural health professionals in each of our 6 stores. If you have any further questions please feel free to come in-store and and they will be happy to assist you.

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