Children under the age of 13 need considerably more sleep per night than adults because sleep is fundamental to their growth and development. If you are a parent, you will naturally want your child to rest on a comfortable and safe mattress, especially since their body requires a lot of sleep. However, one of the dangers you should be aware of when it comes to your child’s mattress is fiberglass.
In 2007, it became mandatory by the 16 CFR 1633 regulation for manufacturers of mattresses to include a fire retardant in their products. While in the past, extremely harmful chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde would be added to mattresses, this is rarely the case today. Nevertheless, many mattresses that are currently on the market are still dangerous because many of them contain fiberglass.
Why Is Fiberglass in Mattresses Dangerous?
For numerous companies, fiberglass has become the go-to fire-retardant option because it is widely available and cheap. Nonetheless, although fiberglass has not yet been proven to be neither toxic nor carcinogenic, it still poses a great health danger, especially for asthmatics, for example.
In mattresses, fiberglass is usually found in the inner layer of the product. If it escapes the mattress, not only will it cause health effects and injuries to the family, but it will also severely contaminate their home.
The injuries from fiberglass exposure can be both mild and severe, like skin rashes, lacerations, itchy skin, dermatitis, upper respiratory infections, allergies, chronic breathing problems, and the aggravation of pre-existent asthma and bronchitis.
Memory foam mattresses are the most common products that contain fiberglass as a fire retardant, including Zinus. In addition to containing 62% fiberglass in their inner layer, the mattresses manufactured by this company also have a significant defect.
The defective nature of these mattresses lies in the presence of a zipper on their outer cover, which indicates to consumers that removing it is safe when the opposite is true.
Unfortunately, Zinus is not the only manufacturer of mattresses that uses fiberglass in their products, which is why it is crucial to be very careful when choosing a mattress for your child.
How Can Fiberglass in a Mattress Cause Injuries?
In general, if you do not take off the mattress’s cover, the chances of suffering injuries related to fiberglass are quite low. Because fiberglass shards are tiny, they will become embedded in your skin, causing skin irritation, skin rashes, skin itchiness, lacerations, or dermatitis, which entails severe inflammation of the skin.
If fiberglass is present in your home, you also risk ingesting it, which may cause gastrointestinal problems. These injuries sustained from fiberglass exposure can affect your child as well if fiberglass leaks from a mattress, and, to make matters worse, children are significantly more vulnerable to being harmed by fiberglass exposure than adults.
Moreover, the injuries they may suffer can also be more serious, so if you notice that your child has worrisome symptoms, you should take them to a hospital immediately. If they have skin lacerations from direct contact with fiberglass, they may require stitches, whereas if they inhaled shards of glass, they might need to use inhalers if they develop a respiratory problem.
Fiberglass Can Harm Your Child Even If You Do Not Remove the Cover of Their Mattress
Unfortunately, fiberglass may cause harm by simple protrusion even if you do not take off the outer cover of the mattress. This can happen with the wear and tear of the mattress, as over the years, the inner layer of fiberglass will come closer to the surface of the mattress.
As a result, shards of glass may penetrate the cover of the mattress and lead to skin injuries in your child. Ideally, you should replace your child’s mattress, particularly if it is no longer in good condition, but understandably, not all parents can afford it.
Many Families Have Lost Everything They Own Due to Fiberglass Contamination
Regrettably, many parents who had not been aware of the dangers of fiberglass removed the outer cover of their child’s mattress, which led to extreme contamination. Once the fiberglass shards are airborne, they contaminate virtually everything: carpets, drapes, stuffed toys, blankets, pillows, couches, armchairs, and clothes.
Sadly, numerous families had to leave their lifelong possessions behind due to the tremendous extent of fiberglass contamination, as their belongings were no longer safe to use. Consequently, families who experienced fiberglass contamination often have to find a temporary place to live while a professional team is working to remove the fiberglass from their homes.
Making Responsible Choices when Choosing a Mattress for Your Child
Children can be extremely sensitive, especially newborns, so it’s never wise to buy a second-hand mattress for your baby. Perhaps the aspect of utmost importance when picking out the safest mattress for your child is knowing what is inside the product.
Many companies sell potentially dangerous mattresses and manufacturers that claim to make safe mattresses that use materials and ingredients that are toxic. Consequently, it would be best to do your research before deciding which mattress is the most suitable for your child.
The label of the mattress should say non-toxic, chemical-free, eco-friendly, green, or organic. Nevertheless, you still have to dig deeper to determine whether this is true for the product in question.
Finally, the fire retardant in the mattress should also interest you, as it can be fiberglass or, worse, carcinogenic chemicals. Some of the best and safest fire retardants found in mattresses are plant-based materials such as natural latex foam, organic cotton, coils, and organic wool.
You should know that these kinds of mattresses are generally pricier. Still, the benefits of such a mattress for your child are endless, including a lower chance of developing allergies. Not to mention that these mattresses also have a longer lifespan and a lower environmental impact.