As a parent, it’s only natural to want to do everything you can to give your child the best—and the type of mattress he or she sleeps in is no exception. This is especially true when your child is an infant. Crib mattresses are different from the mattresses adults use, since a crib mattress should be firm enough to support your child’s growing body, but still be comfortable enough for your child.
Mattress manufacturers have used numerous materials to create mattresses that offer the perfect balance between support and comfort. Unfortunately, some of the synthetic materials they use emit harmful chemicals that may harm your child. These include volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in polyurethane foam, adhesive chemicals, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).
So you’re now a proud parent to your sweet little one. Congratulations! Of course, one of the foremost concerns you have is finding a good bed for your baby to sleep on, and for good reason: babies in general can spend 12-16 hours a day just sleeping. Your baby’s long slumbers and his delicate, developing lungs reiterate the need to create a safe sleeping environment.
In terms of creating a harmless environment for rest, your major focus should fall on the mattress in your baby’s crib. If you think that you can choose any kind mattress out there since they’re fairly innocuous as far as health effects go, you’re mistaken. A study conducted by engineers from the University of Texas at Austin have yielded rather unsettling results: foam padding in conventional crib mattresses have been found to release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—substances which are also found in the likes of household cleaners.
The good effects of a full, rejuvenating sleep on one’s lifestyle can never be overstated. Yet for all its benefits, sleep is one thing that proves elusive to many people—and they’re unknowingly paying dearly for it. It has been shown that sleep deprivation contributes to depression symptoms, facilitates premature skin aging and memory loss, and can even lead to obesity.
There are many known causes for sleep deprivation, but one factor is relatively easier to address: the mattress. Various studies have looked into this subject, and the results were pretty conclusive: newer beds cause a decline in stress levels, and mattresses with sub-par contours can wreak havoc on sleep patterns by intensifying discomforts, such as back pain.
The next time you tuck your kids in to bed after a bedtime story, consider whether their mattresses are safe from hidden dangers such as chemicals and toxins.
Everyday exposure to these substances can increase your family’s risk of acquiring serious health complications. Considering how many hours people (both children and adults) spend on their beds each night, ensuring that every member of your family sleeps on a safe and comfortable mattress should be one of your top priorities.