Buying A Kids Mattress - Take Toxicity Into Consideration

While choosing mattress for their kid, most parents would consider the comfort and price, and overlook the most important feature of its being non-toxic. Any normal mattress has lots of chemicals that it would release, thus exposing the child to harmful contaminants.

You would agree that children spend eight to ten hours everyday on the mattress, and that’s one third of their life. In that duration they have close and direct contact with mattress and hence its materials. All thru night they are breathing and absorbing the chemicals contained in the mattress. You should understand that their immune, reproductive, respiratory systems, as also livers are not fully developed. That makes them more susceptible to toxic materials, since it's not so easy for their bodies in the process of development to detoxify and expel these toxins. Exposure to chemicals during the significant phase of brain development may cause more harm than in later years of life. During sleep, a child’s body is expected to get rid of the stress accumulated during daytime and rejuvenate, and not to breathe absorbing toxic elements.

How Toxic is A Typical Kids Mattress?

Most mattresses comprise of synthetic materials with polyurethane being used the most often. This is a petroleum derivative with added toxic chemicals. It could pose health issues including cardiac arrhythmias, breathlessness, irritation of mucous membranes, headache, chest discomfort, coughing, asthma-like allergic reaction, weakness, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, and reduced pulmonary function. Memory foam mattresses include yet more potentially injurious chemicals.

It’s obligatory for the mattress manufacturer to qualify for the federal flammability stipulations. That prompts them to use fire-retarding chemicals, which could be quite toxic. Of late, some of these chemicals have been banned and replaced with other chemicals, though these too could be toxic. Because the chemicals can’t ever completely fritter away, the older mattresses continue to release the toxins, though they are deprived of the smell due chemicals.

What Alternatives are Available?

You should be relieved to learn that these days you get mattresses made from natural organic materials. Quite many qualify for standards prescribed for safety and use of non-toxic ingredients. You may follow the following guidelines when looking for safe mattresses for kids.

Choose an Organic Mattress with Safe, Natural Materials

The safest non-toxic material for mattresses is 100 % organic cotton. Cotton offers a comfortable surface for sleeping that is breathable and remains firm too. Another option of a safe material is natural latex, depending on the way it’s made. . Latex is derived from the sap of a rubber tree plant. Look for all-natural latex and avoid going in for those with blended chemicals.

You will come across mattresses being sold as eco-friendly, green or plant based and described as Eco Foam, Soy Foam and Bio Foam. What it really means is that the manufacturer has replaced a small proportion of polyurethane foam with plant-based components. For example, soy foam is generally polyurethane foam that has 12-17% percent of genetically produced soybean oil mixed to it. Most such mattresses comprise of polyurethane foam that is not safe and is highly flammable. As a result, the manufacturers have to add fire resistant chemicals to make the product conform to flammability laws. So, don’t get carried by such slogans. You will still be buying a lot of toxic and off gassing materials with such advertised mattresses.

It’s vital to know of all the materials used for making the mattress and usually, the dealer is unable to provide such detailed information. Try getting mattress or bedding from a company with GOTS certification. The Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) are the foremost organic textile manufacturing standards for mattresses. The standards call for all fiber and fabrics used for making a mattress, with few exceptions, to be made from National Organic Program (NOP) licensed materials and processed as per the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). All other materials like innersprings and fire protection etc. must conform to exacting non-toxic standards. In case the product lacks GOTS certification, the materials should be checked more thoroughly. It doesn’t imply that the mattress is unsafe. It could mean that the manufacturer is yet to go thru the process of getting certified.

Choose a Mattress with Natural, Non-toxic Fire Protection

These are safe natural substitutes for chemical fire retardants and will qualify for flammability standards. Some manufacturers meet the standards by using wool, as it is a natural fiber that has fire retardant characteristics. Though there are few companies that use only pure wool, some use wool with added chemicals to enhance its fire resistance property.

Some manufacturers use a mixture of hydrated silica with baking soda; both are completely non-toxic materials, and meet the Federal and State flammability standards. This provides perfect protection against fire and would ideally suit those allergic to wool.

You should get complete details from the manufacturer about the items used for achieving the prescribed standards for fire protection. Legally, they are not expected to sell a mattress without providing some kind of fire protection.

Young Children Need Waterproof and Dust Mite Proof Mattresses

Many parents like to provide their toddler or a child in preschool years with a waterproof matters as they could wet the bet, thus spoiling the mattress. A moist or humid mattress leads to growth of mold, and bacteria, which surely is not healthy. The only option for waterproof material will be plastic. Wool can only resist water, but it’s not waterproof. If there is too much of water, it will seep thru woolen pad and thus damage the mattress. Moreover, allergies due dust mites could pose serious problem for a child. The safest material as far as waterproofing and dust mite proofing is concerned is low-density food grade polyethylene. So, you should opt for a polyethylene covering rather than going for vinyl or some other plastic coverings.

Organic non-toxic mattresses are costlier than the usual variety. Yet, considering the health of your child, they are worth patronizing. As it is, the kids are open to toxic elements during the day, making it al the more imperative to ensure that the bed that they use at night is devoid of all chemicals. A harmless non-toxic mattress is essentially required for keeping the child in good health and a good organic mattress is expected to last thru all the childhood.