As a parent, you must cross-check everything your baby interacts with. From the foods they eat to the mattresses they sleep on, you must confirm that they are safe. Children spend most of their time sleeping, and that’s why a lot of research is done when shopping for a crib. One of the things parents tend to forget is examining the safety of the materials found inside mattresses. Today, we are focusing on fiberglass, a material that manufacturers love to use as it meets the required mattress flammability standards, and the importance of buying beds that do not contain this material.
Without a doubt, fiberglass is dangerous to your baby’s health. A fiberglass crib mattress will trigger asthma, bronchitis, and other breathing issues. It can irritate their eyes, nose, and throats when they inhale the material. Fiberglass can make your child’s skin itch and develop rashes. These are but some of the dangers of this material. Keep on reading to find out why it is not safe for your baby.
Is a Mattress With Fiberglass Safe for Your Baby?
Fiberglass is harmful to your baby’s health. Babies spend most of their days and nights sleeping. As a result, they are more exposed to the materials in mattresses. Unlike adults, babies don’t know how to complain or say that something is bothering them. It is entirely up to you to find a bed that doesn’t contain fiberglass.
When a child sleeps on a fiberglass mattress, the following may happen;
- One, they can inhale the mattress, and this will irritate their nose and throat. Your baby may start to cough or sneeze. This side effect isn’t long-term, and it goes away on its own. However, if your child suffers from breathing complications, you should seek medical assistance right away.
- Secondly, if it gets into their eyes, the fiberglass will irritate them as well. The eyes can become red and teary. The eyes are also a sensitive part, and you should seek medical help.
- Thirdly, fiberglass can cause skin rash, and in some cases, it can scratch the skin. Remember, fiberglass contains tiny shards of glass woven together.
- Finally, the fiberglass can spread to their clothes and beddings. The problem with this material is that it doesn’t come off quickly, even if you use a washing machine. Putting clothes or bedding with fiberglass into your washing machine will contaminate it as well.
As you can see, there are a lot of safety concerns associated with this material. It is, therefore, unsafe for babies. So, why should you use a fiberglass-free crib mattress?
Reasons Why You Should Buy a Crib Mattress Without Fiberglass
Knowing how dangerous fiberglass is to your baby, you should stay clear of any crib mattress that contains this material. Here are the main reasons why you should opt for a fiberglass-free baby crib;
- Your child will enjoy uninterrupted sleep because there will be no side effects of interacting with fiberglass.
- Your baby’s health will not be affected.
- As a parent, you can relax knowing there are no scary materials in your child’s crib.
- Because a mattress should have a flame retardant, your baby’s bed will feature a natural material such as cotton or wool instead of fiberglass.
- Fiberglass free mattress materials are sourced using ethical and sustainable means. You will therefore be contributing to making the world a better place.
- According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, some of the fibers found in fiberglass are possible carcinogens. By avoiding mattresses that contain this material, you are keeping your child safe from cancer-causing agents.
How Can I Know a Crib Mattress is Fiberglass Free?
This information will be listed in the label or mattress description. There are tons of fiberglass-free crib mattresses in the market, and it shouldn’t be very hard for you to identify them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with how to inspect whether a crib mattress is fiberglass-free, here are some tips to help you out.
- A fiberglass-free crib mattress will list the material it uses as a fire retardant. This can be organic wool or cotton. There are other synthetic fire retardants. You should avoid those as well.
- You can confirm with the manufacturer. At times, the materials in a bed may not be on the label. In such instances, you should contact the manufacturer and confirm which fire retardant is in the beds.
- Mattress without fiberglass come with a removable cover. There should be a zipper on the cover that allows you to remove and wash the cover. If your baby’s crib mattress has a non-removable cover or the manufacturer indicates the cover shouldn’t be removed. It’s because it contains fiberglass.
Never Remove Your Baby’s Crib Mattress Cover If You Don’t Know Its Contents
Because of how delicate children are, you should never remove their crib’s mattress covers without knowing what’s inside. In case a mattress contains fiberglass, when you remove the cover, you leave the fibers exposed. They can either spread to beddings or into the air. Neither of these two options is safer. When they spread to the bedsheets, it will be very easy for these glasses to touch your baby’s skin. If they float in the air, you or your baby can breathe in the fiberglass and experience mild to severe irritation.
Do not attempt to remove your baby’s crib mattress cover if you are unsure about what’s inside. If a mattress is strictly written, ‘do not remover cover’, refrain from doing so because there is a high chance it contains fiberglass. Most people who experience fiberglass contaminations in their homes make this mistake unknowingly. If you have never been the kind of shopper who is keen on knowing the materials or ingredients used, this should be a wake-up call.
The Importance of Reading Labels When Shopping for a Crib Mattress
A practice you should familiarize yourself with is reading labels when buying baby products. If it’s a mattress, in this case, ensure that the label reads fiberglass-free. It should also mention which material is used as the fire retardant. When you learn how to read labels, you can avoid buying crib mattresses that contain fiberglass and other harmful materials.
What Materials Are in a Baby Mattress?
Knowing what materials are in a baby mattress can help you differentiate between the toxic and organic options. In a typical crib, you will find filling material which mainly comprises of polyurethane foam. This is a highly flammable material that is protected by fiberglass flame retardant.
The other thing is polyvinyl chloride PVC which waterproofs the bed. Coming next after fiberglass, polyvinyl chloride is a known carcinogen, and it is quite toxic. PVC exists as hard plastic, and it needs chemical plasticizers to make it soft. These chemicals off-gas into the air and can impact your child’s health.
To pass flammability standards, mattresses also need to have flame retardants which can either be synthetic or natural. Synthetic flame retardants include fiberglass and the likes of polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The latter is a known chemical that can be hazardous to children and adults.
Ways in Which Babies are Exposed to Fiberglass in Mattresses
You may be wondering how my baby will be exposed to fiberglass, yet there is a cover on top of it. First, you need to know that fiberglass will eventually find its way to the top if a mattress contains fiberglass. Mattress covers are bound to wear out, and when this happens, the fiberglass will rise to the surface. Anyway, other than that, here are some ways children can be exposed to fiberglass in mattresses;
- They can breathe it in when sleeping. You are already aware how much babies like to sleep. During this period, they directly breathe the air surrounding the mattress. If there is fiberglass around, they will breathe it in and may experience irritation of the nose or throat.
- The fiberglass can rub on their skin. Because babies like to move a lot, fiberglass can rub on the skin. This can lead to the development of rashes or itchy skin.
- The other method on how children can be exposed to fiberglass in mattresses is through household dust. When the fiberglass in a bed spreads to the air, it settles on household items. Kids love to play with everything, and should they come across contaminated furniture, toys, or clothes, they will be exposed to fiberglass.
Must All Crib Mattresses Contain Fiberglass?
Fortunately, fiberglass isn’t the only flame retardant in the industry. There are other options that are safer and equally effective. Bed manufacturers prefer fiberglass because it is cheaper and does a great job as a flame retardant. We have already seen how dangerous this material is. Natural flame retardants such as cotton and wool won’t irritate your baby’s skin or organs, and they will prevent the mattress from catching fire. With so many fiberglass-free baby mattresses in the market, you shouldn’t risk having your baby sleep on fiberglass beds.
Having your baby sleep on a crib mattress without fiberglass is the best night time gift you can offer them. Not only are fiberglass-free beds safer, but these mattresses often feature organic or at least natural materials. Your baby will sleep soundly at night, and you won’t have to worry about the effects of harmful materials such as fiberglass.