If you don't have a water softener in your home, you may be wondering, "is hard water safe for babies?" In this article, we'll discuss the sensitivity of a baby's skin, and how the particularly hard water in Kitchener-Waterloo increases the risk of eczema for infants. If you need to install a water softener in your home, trust the experts at WaterSmart Systems & Plumbing - We know water softeners and we can install yours quickly and easily.
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Is Hard Water Safe for Babies?
The quick answer here is yes and no. While hard water is safe for babies to drink, it can potentially have an adverse effect on their skin.
Hard water increases the risk of eczema
In 2016, a study was published by researchers at King's College in London, England that addressed water quality and the skin of infants. According to HuffPost, 1,300 three-month-old babies from across the United Kingdom were studied, and researchers looked specifically at the level of calcium in the water of their homes, which is a measure of water hardness.
The level of chlorine in the family’s water supply was also taken into consideration, as was the use of bathing products, and how regularly the infants were bathed. The infants were then examined for the presence of childhood eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. The natural barrier of their skin was also examined; infants were screened for the FLG gene which is associated with a compromised skin barrier.
The study found that hard water is linked to an 87 percent increased risk of eczema for babies of three months of age. There's growing evidence, therefore, of a link between exposure to hard water and the risk of developing eczema in childhood.
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by dry skin, with patches that are red and can be very itchy. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and the condition can negatively impact quality of life.
Your baby, then, is at risk of developing eczema if you bathe them and wash their clothes on hard water
Hard water can increase the risk of eczema, a painful skin condition.
Hard water is generally safe for babies to intake
However, parents who feed their babies with formula can rest assured knowing that using hard water poses little threat.
Hard water has a high mineral content, caused when water naturally filters through deposits of limestone and chalk, which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium deposits.
The intake of calcium and magnesium is generally believed to be good for your health. In fact, the Government of Canada directly states "calcium and magnesium are not of direct public health concern."
However, an increased intake of magnesium can cause a negative change in bowel habits, namely diarrhea, according to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. Drinking water in which both magnesium and sulphate are present in high concentrations (-250 mg/l each) can have a laxative effect.
Let's be honest: nobody wants that, especially when diaper changing is involved.
Hard water is generally safe to drink, but watch out for changes in bowel habits.
What to do next
In summary, hard water is generally thought to be healthy for drinking, but it can bring other potential risks to your baby, such as bowel and skin issues.
Hard water can be also really troublesome for your pipes and appliances, making it challenging to get a good wash for your baby, their clothes, and their dishes.
So what can be done? A water softener exchanges ions of calcium and magnesium with sodium and potassium. A water softener reduces water hardness, making it easier to shower and clean fabrics and dishes. With softened water, less soap is needed for bathing and laundry. Skin feels cleaner and clothing softer.
Pipes, fixtures, and appliances have less scale build-up. With less build-up, appliances can operate efficiently. Mineral-derived odours may be reduced, and there are fewer deposit stains on bathroom fixtures.
And again, soft water greatly reduces the risk of skin and bowel irritation.
To check the water hardness in your area, click here.
Need a water softener? Trust WaterSmart Systems & Plumbing!
Hard water is safe for babies when it comes to intake, but can be very detrimental for their skin. Considering you bathe and wash their clothes and dishes with hard water, there's great risk involved in not investing in a water softener.
WaterSmart Systems & Plumbing is a locally-run business that serves Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding area. Our customers are important to us and we always treat them as family. If you decide to purchase a water softener from us, we promise to give you the best service possible, just like we would with our own family.
Our factory-trained professionals are all fully insured so you can be sure that they know how to install and set-up your new water softener so that it performs at the highest level possible. They will also take the time to show you how it works and answer any questions that you may have.
Visit our Waterloo location or click here to contact us today to set up a convenient time for you to have your water softener installation.