Baby wipes increase children’s risk of developing life-threatening food allergies, research suggested in April 2018.
Immune reactions to everyday produce like nuts, eggs and soy may be brought on by a ‘perfect storm’ of baby wipes, dust and food exposure, a study found in a ‘major advance’.
Researchers believe this is due to an ingredient in soap found in baby wipes, known as sodium lauryl sulphate, lingering on infants’ skin and disrupting its protective fatty barrier.
In youngsters with genetic mutations that predispose them to allergies, this disruption could lead to immune reactions if they are, for instance, kissed by a sibling with peanut butter on their face, according to the US researchers.
The scientists recommend parents reduce their youngsters’ food allergy risk by washing their hands before touching them and rinsing off excess soap after baby wipe use.
Around one in 13 children in the US suffer from at least one food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research & Education.
Lead author Professor Joan Cook-Mills, from Northwestern University, said: ‘I thought about what are babies exposed to.
‘They are exposed to environmental allergens in dust in a home.
‘They may not be eating food allergens as a newborn, but they are getting them on their skin.
‘Say a sibling with peanut butter on her face kisses the baby. Or a parent is preparing food with peanuts and then handles the baby. ‘
Professor Cook-Mills then investigated skin studies that assessed the impact of soap, saying: ‘I thought “oh my gosh!’ That’s infant wipes!”‘