During National Safety Month, June, safety was in the spotlight. In observance of the month, U.S. certified organic mattress and bedding manufacturer, Naturepedic, drove education and awareness around the various safety issues to look out for in crib and children’s mattresses. The company's proprietary 5-Step Safety Check is a simple way for consumers to make sure they are being thorough when purchasing a mattress for their babies and children.
Chemical Safety In Mattresses
The goal of inventing a safe, nontoxic, organic crib mattress to supersede conventional quality and raise the bar on chemical safety standards led Barry A. Cik, a 40-year veteran environmental engineer to start Naturepedic in 2003. “The unfortunate reality is that many mattresses on the market, including many baby and children’s mattresses, are made with toxic and questionable chemicals, including dangerous flame retardants and/or flame barriers, and, as well, with vinyl, phthalates, PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals), PFAS, formaldehyde, pesticides, GMOs, glues/adhesives, and more,” says Cik.
“Babies today are born into a polluted world, and the more we can help parents understand the impact that toxic chemicals can have on their development and overall health, the more equipped they will be to make the necessary changes, “ comments Amy Ziff, Founder and Executive Director of MADE SAFE, “That’s why we released our latest Healthy Pregnancy Guide and why we applaud and feature brands like Naturepedic who are always raising the bar for the highest safety standards possible.”
Cik warns that consumers should be weary of crib mattresses made with latex, especially as the FDA cautions that latex may cause allergenic reactions. “Approximately 6-8% of people, including babies, are allergic to latex, so the only responsible course of action is to keep them away from it. Latex includes the use of coir (shredded coconut husks), which is always mixed with latex,” comments Cik.
When it comes to the physical safety of a child, Cik explains this means “having proper firmness across the entire mattress, including at the edges, to ensure sufficient support. The problem is that many crib mattresses, even if firm in the middle, are mushy at the edges, which doesn’t provide the stable support that a toddler needs when standing at the edge of a crib and jumping up and down.”
Hygienic safety is vitally important too, because a baby mattress is expected to last for years, and must remain hygienic constantly. “The only way to really do that is to waterproof the mattress. The problem is that waterproofing is generally done with toxic chemicals or toxic plastics,” comments Cik. The Clean Production Action, as well as Greenpeace, have evaluated various plastics and have concluded that polyethylene is the safest. The Naturepedic food-grade waterproofing criteria, which also meets FDA standard for food-contact, takes it a step further by using non-GMO sugarcane to make the food-grade polyethylene.
Finally, Breathability is basic but extremely critical. Naturepedic supports breathability safety by following pediatric guidelines to make baby mattress surfaces firm, because proper support requires a firm mattress. With proper firmness, the baby’s head cannot sink into the mattress when the baby is face down. In addition, Naturepedic offers air-flow covers which increases air-flow surrounding the baby, allows the baby to breathe directly through the breathable surface, and allows heat to escape.
“Lessons from the ongoing Covid-19 crisis include a new understanding of how we are all interconnected and a heightened awareness of the importance of choices for environmental safety,” comments Susan Inglis, Executive Director, Sustainable Furnishings Council, “Given how often furnishings introduce harmful chemicals and other unsustainable materials into our home environments, now it is more important than ever to make conscientious, safe choices. Perhaps the most important place to start is in the nursery, eliminating the harmful and questionable chemicals in baby and children’s mattresses that our children sleep on for twelve to even fifteen hours every day.”
Naturepedic proudly combines its five-step safety measures to help keep babies and children safe, while maintaining the most stringent safety certifications, recommendations, awards, and advocacy associations available in the marketplace.
“My greatest wish is to eradicate all the health issues that we’re seeing with our babies and children. By eliminating chemicals and questionable materials and replacing them with safer and more non-toxic materials, while ensuring that we provide for allergenic safety, physical safety, hygienic and breathability safety, making it easier for parents to make informed choices for their children’s wellbeing,” states Cik.
About Naturepedic: Since 2003, Naturepedic has been on a mission to transform lives through safer, healthier organic-based products. Naturepedic created the first and only organic baby crib mattress designed with a patented food-grade waterproof surface made from non-GMO sugarcane and with various breathable options. As well, Naturepedic has led the industry by introducing organic mattresses specifically designed for different ages of children, as well as highly sought-after luxury organic mattresses for adults. The Naturepedic mattresses for adults are widely considered the most comfortable mattresses because, instead of sleeping on a petroleum-based mattress which can make you hot and sweaty, the organic cotton fabrics, organic cotton fill, organic wool, and other more comfortable materials in a Naturepedic mattress make for more comfortable night’s sleep. Naturepedic supports an organic holistic healthier lifestyle while protecting the environment.
Naturepedic products are certified to the Made Safe Standard, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Greenguard Gold Standard, UL Formaldehyde-Free Standard, Forest Stewardship Council/Rainforest Alliance Standard, and others. Naturepedic is recommended and has won awards from leading environmental organizations like American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), Clean Production Action, Sustainable Furnishings Council, The Ecology Center, Zero Toxics, EWG (Environmental Working Group), AllergyKids Foundation, Healthy Child Healthy World, Kids For Saving Earth, and others. Naturepedic supports and works with advocacy groups like 1% For the Planet, Women’s Voices for the Earth, Green America, PETA, Organic Trade Association, and is an EPA Green Power Partner.