A three-year-old girl was hospitalized with a severe allergic reaction after playing with children’s makeup, and now her mother wants other parents to be more aware of what they’re putting on their child’s skin, as it could be dangerous.
According to mom Kylie Craven on Facebook, she and her husband gifted their daughter Lydia with a makeup set for children they bought from a local dollar store – a set they believed was nontoxic.
The two thought the kit would be harmless, considering they had let Lydia use similar products in the past, but from different companies.
Lydia developed a rash all over her body, and her eyes were swollen and blistered shut. The reaction was so severe, Craven said, that her daughter was admitted to the hospital.
Due to the blistering and cracking of her lips, the little girl was unable to eat, her mother said, and cold packs had to be applied every 30 minutes to help with the burning.
“Please be aware of what you are letting your babies have,” she wrote. “Especially kids cosmetics. So this doesn’t happen to your child.”
When it comes to makeup, it is not a good idea for kids to be applying makeup to their skin, dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett says. This is because their skin may be more sensitive to such products.
Regardless, using cosmetics does come with risks for anyone of any age, because cosmetics contain multiple agents in which different people may react differently to, Kellett adds.
“Some of the common things you get from makeup can be either an allergic contact dermatitis or an irritant contact dermatitis, among other things like infection, for example,” Kellett explains.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, allergic contact dermatitis happens when the skin has become sensitive to a certain allergen once before and then again afterwards. It is a delayed skin reaction that usually develops 12 to 72 hours after contact.
Irritant contact dermatitis, however, happens when the skin is repeatedly exposed to a mild irritant, for example, detergent, over a period of time, the clinic says.
And it doesn’t matter if the product is labelled “natural,” “organic,” or not – or is water-based or oil-based – the same risk of reaction still applies, Kellett says.
Children’s cosmetic items (like lipsticks, nail polish, perfume, shaving creams, etc.) are all regulated by Health Canada under the cosmetic regulations of the Food and Drugs Act, Health Canada says.
At any time, the government may request that a manufacturer submit evidence to establish the safety of a cosmetics product. If the manufacturer doesn’t submit the evidence when requested, then Health Canada can stop the sale of that product within the country. If the evidence is not sufficient, then Health Canada must notify the manufacturer of the findings and the manufacturer must stop the selling of the product until either it submits additional evidence of the product’s safety, the regulations state.
Health Canada also has a cosmetic ingredient hotlist, which lists prohibited and restricted ingredients in cosmetic products sold in Canada. The list is updated periodically and can be consulted by Canadians on the web.
The list also states that in order for cosmetics to be sold in Canada, products must meet the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and the cosmetic regulations.
But that’s not to say some things may occasionally slip through the cracks. Last December, Health Canada announced it was looking into cosmetics sold at Claire’s after the store pulled products after reports of asbestos in the products.
Whether the products contained asbestos was still up for debate in January. While lab testing done by the retailer showed no signs of asbestos, the Deaton Law Firm (which specializes in legal issues around mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases) claims to have found traces of asbestos in the products throughout the U.S., the LA Times reports.