Childhood illnesses

The reason why you shouldn't let your baby suck on socks


If there is something that babies love to do when their hands and feet have already been discovered, it is undoubtedly to play with their socks, either to take them off or to put them in their mouth. Such an innocent gesture that it can cause serious problems for their development and health. Did you know that, among things things, babies who suck on socks are at higher risk of hyperactivity?

According to a recent study by the University of Granada, nine out of ten children's socks contain Bisphenol A, an endocrine disruptor whose hormonal activity is related to dysfunctions that lead to disease in both children and adults. Unfortunately, this is not a surprise, as Bisphenol A (BPA) is present in the vast majority of plastics, and the man-made fibers used to make textiles - including socks - originate from plastics.

Although the release of BPA in textile products is not necessarily a cause for alarm, since its absorption through the topical route is much lower than its absorption through the oral route, the fact that this compound is found in baby socks can be significantly alarming. .

For starters, socks are in very direct contact with the skin, which increases exposure to BPA. In addition, the topical absorption of this compound could potentially be increased with increasing body temperature, and what is more alarming, children tend to put their feet in their mouths, so that BPA is not only accessed topically but also also orally, increasing the risk of accumulation in the body.

Although since January 2011 bisphenol A has been a material forbidden to use in the manufacture of baby bottles, the European Union still allows its use for coatings on cans and other food products, so it continues to be in direct contact with food.

Since 2018 the studies carried out on the harmful effects of this chemical compound have been thoroughly evaluated, and although today there are still no regulations that prohibit its use in the food industry, it is possible that in the not too distant future , the prohibitions on the use of this compound are extended not only in the food industry but also in others such as textiles. Let's hope so!

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound that is widely used in the manufacture of plastics, especially it is key in the manufacture of epoxy resins and plastic polycarbonate, whose use is widely extended in all sectors, including food.

Specifically, polycarbonate plastic has been used for more than 50 years to make pacifiers, baby bottles and water bottles, while epoxy resins are often part of the internal lining of food and beverage cans. However, apart from these products related to the food sector, which only account for a small percentage of total use, Where can we find BPA? What effects can it have on health?

BPA is known to be capable of altering the endocrine system, in addition to being able to couple to the receptors of some hormones - especially of the estrogen family - just as the hormones themselves do, but what does this mean?

BPA is considered a 'hormonal disruptor or mimic', that is, it is capable of taking the place of hormones, particularly estrogens, in their receptors, preventing these receptors from being free so that natural estrogens can couple. And, also, by blocking the receptors, it prevents natural estrogens from performing their functions because they cannot connect to their receptor.

Basically, if we think that the receiver is like a plug, the BPA sticks to it as if it were the infant protector, preventing estrogen, which could be our appliance, from being plugged in and performing its function (toaster, mixer, vacuum cleaner ...) .

Unfortunately, the problems do not end there, as BPA accumulates in fatty tissue throughout life - it is not completely eliminated. Thus, and since some studies suggest that it can cross the placental barrier, it could be transmitted from mothers to children with what this means for health. What health problems does this accumulation of BPA bring?

- Obesity

- asthma

- Behavioral problems: hyperactivity, aggressiveness, drastic mood swings ...

- Alterations in blood pressure

- Alterations in the genitourinary system

- Alterations in the onset of puberty: early or late presentations.

- Sterility problems: sperm count and sperm quality, ovarian abnormalities ...

- Anomalies or defects in the sexual development of the fetus: difficulty in differentiating between the male and female sex due to the alteration of hormonal synthesis.

- Cancers related to sex hormones: ovary, prostate, testicle, breast, uterus.

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