Thoughts from a 'Western' dad
My kids are the most important for me!
Living in Vietnam for a long time, being married with a Vietnamese woman and having a Vietnamese daughter I can confirm that to. And I am Dutch. Because of that my interpretation of the importance with kids feels the same from the heart but is different from experiences that many of us parents had before, in my case in Europe.
So where exactly is that difference? I hear my parents saying ‘my kids will have a better life then me’ and I asked them ‘why, you don’t have a nice life together?’ And they answered that they mean that their kids can make use of all the modern things that (available) money can buy. But they did not ask after the risks of such things.
Now let’s only stick to, after all that is my profession, the use of products to clean ourselves. Like soap, bath gels, shampoo etc. And then especially the antibacterial ones. I am every day again amazed hearing people say that their kids use them and again ask them ‘why?’. And the answer I become in most cases is that it kills batteries in 7 seconds. Wow! isn’t that something! But nobody asks if it also kills anything else.
My daughter will never use anti-bacterial soap!
Why not? Because I want to protect her. Protect her from many things but in this case especially against Triclosan. Triclosan is in about 75% of antibacterial soaps but according to a report by the Food and Drug Association is not better then using just old fashioned soap with water. So why do big manufacturers still use it? Simple; it’s cheap! And the law about it is very old but will change soon.
So what do I protect my daughter against exactly?
- Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than conventional soap and water. 42 years of FDA research—along with countless independent studies—have produced no evidence that triclosan provides any health benefits as compared to old-fashioned soap.
- Antibacterial soaps have the potential to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria and my daughter would not any longer be resistant against normal bacteries. the Wolrd Health Organization calls it a ‘threat to global health security’. Some bacteria species have even acquired resistance to several different drugs.
- The soaps could act to de-regulate hormones. This has been showed in a number of studies with Triclosan on rats, frogs and other animals. For humans there are worries that it could lead to infertility, artificial-advanced early puberty, obesity and cancer.
- The soaps might lead to other health problems. There is evidence that use of Triclosan by children have a higher chance of developing allergies, including peanut allergy and hay fever.
- Antibacterial soaps are bad for the environment, all the Triclosan gets down the drain and lands up in our water system. And comes back to us.
We do love our kids, right?
Of course we do. A loving parent will always want to do the best possible. And we are also willing to learn, that’s what I did. No, I have not always known what I know now and learn every day. I did not do all the research myself but use the information that has been established during many years by famous doctors and institutes. And they advice that a simple hand wash with natural soap should do the trick. The water does not need to be hot and the best is scrubbing with soap for about 30 seconds to get properly clean.
The best possible for your and my kid; that’s what we share the full 100%