Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reaction to Tagless Baby Clothing

Since Avery was born, she has had fairly severe skin reactions on her upper back. The skin gets scaly and red and then the skin ruptures and oozes some icky brownish-yellow goo. It was obviously a reaction to the tagless labels printed inside many baby clothes since a few times her clothes would stick to her back only where the tags were, and we would have to peel them off, along with some of her skin. It was pretty disturbing as a parent and heartbreaking to see our newborn with what looked like a very painful, irritating wound. Here are some pictures I found of another child with the same problem: Avery's wounds look exactly the same, except the redness is a little more localized. The solution is pretty simple: avoid tagless clothes or iron on a soft flannel patch over the printing. The tricky part is that almost all baby sleepwear, onsies, etc. have the tagless labels and every manufacturer uses a different formula. Avery is allergic to some, and some seem fine. We thought it was most likely a latex allergy.

A couple of days ago I was surfing the web looking at products for children without BPA when I came across a report by Z Recommends. Apparently this is not an uncommon reaction. Its not really a rash so much as a chemical burn. Some tags contain phthalates while others have formaldehyde. While we are glad that this means she is probably not allergic to latex, it is extremely frustrating that companies use chemicals known to cause reactions with some children in their products. Carter's brand (especially the Fall 2007 & Spring 2008 lines) gets the brunt of the blame (it does cause the worst reaction we've had), but Avery and other children are also having reactions to Circo; Gerber; Just One Year and Child of Mine (divisions of Carter's, but with different tags); and to a lesser degree BabyGap, Old Navy, and Vitamins.

To be fair, Carter's does refund all their clothing if your child has had a reaction. They have also reformulated their tags for the Fall 2008 line. We have some of the new line, but I'm not sure I want to experiment with my child. At the same time, I want to help other children avoid similar problems. I think I'll try them out, but watch like a hawk and remove the clothes at the first sign of any problem. Keep your fingers crossed . . .

The blue shirt in the middle is one of Carter's old tags (meaning burn on Avery's back within half an hour). The green one up top is the new, redesigned tag (wish us luck!).

1 comment:

Bonnie and Brian Wayne said...

That is such a hassle that have to stress about tags of all things!!

If you want to go the route of getting her treated for the tag (which can easily be done) I did ask Dr. Tam ( how much if there is NO insurance - totally SELF PAY (and if you do get coverage for out of network great) and he said its $150 for consultation, $87 to get tested and $65 for each treatment. You get one allergy eliminated per treatment. Hope that helps. Hope you guys have luck with the tags!!!