Parents do everything to keep their children away from harm.
Whether it’s baby proofing their house, monitoring their playtime or carefully choosing their toys, parents take a lot of effort and care to ensure their child’s safety.
So you can image the shock Amanda Townshend, a mom from Lacey, Washington, experienced when she discovered mold in her child’s sippy cup (1).
A Shocking Discovery
After her child experienced stuffiness and other symptoms, Townshend took apart her child’s cup as she tried to find the cause of his illness.
The mother spent 30 minutes using a screwdriver and hammer to break open the lid of the cup. What she found was a shocking amount of mold.
“We didn’t put two and two together of the sippy cups and his health until recently,” Townshend said. “He’s always had a stuffy nose after using them and just about a week or so ago he had an upper respiratory infection.”
The mothers insist that the “Tommy Tippee” sippy cup was properly cleaned after every use. The area where she found mold could not be cleaned without destroying the cup.
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A Widespread Problem
Medical daily reported that this is far from an isolated case. Parents around the globe are flocking to facebook and local news stations to warn their families and friends that these cups aren’t as safe as they claim to be (2).
Among other things, prolonged exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions such as wheezing, rash, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and redness of the eyes. Mold is also known to cause childhood asthma, which explains the alarming respiratory symptoms reported by concerned parents.
However, parents argue that these are the drinks children often consume and products directed towards children should accommodate their needs. Also, warm liquids should not be a concern since it is claimed that the cup can withstand extreme temperature found in the dishwasher.
Although some companies have begun producing BPA-free products, the effects of these plastics are not well or documented enough to be considered safe.
In addition, a study published in the National Institutes of Health’s journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that some BPA-free products had even more activity than products known to contain BPA (6).
Instead of buying plastic cups, parents of young children should purchase safe stainless steel with silicone lids, which should be used only for cold liquids.
For warm liquids, children should be given glass or ceramic with an all-silicone sleeve and lid. However, these lids are more breakable and should only be used under parental supervision (7).