Prolonged diaper usage has harmful side effects on your infant, here’s why

Your toddler’s health is in your hand, and diapers are an integral part of their lives. You must change their nappies frequently to avoid the side effects of dirty diapers for babies.
Diapers side effects
Know the side effects of diapers on children. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 1 May 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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There is no denying the fact that diapers have made the lives of parents extremely convenient. Many parents find it convenient to use absorbent diapers instead of cotton nappies. Since the urine gets absorbed, one can continue to use them even if the baby has passed urine. However, if the baby passes stool, the diaper has to be changed immediately. Prolonged contact with urine or stools in diapers can lead to irritation in the skin (contact dermatitis). The baby can develop a so-called ‘Ammoniacal rash’. In addition, moist skin is also at risk for fungal infection.

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Sankalp Dudeja, consultant neonatologist and Pediatrics at Cloudnine Group of hospitals, Gurgaon, to understand the side effects of dirty diapers for babies.

Why should you change dirty diapers in your babes?

Recent information found by scientists proved that the gut microbiome plays a pivotal role in giving birth to chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, and ADHD in infants later in life. A recent study published in Nature Microbiology confirmed that the baby’s gut gets infected with 10,000 viral species which is 10 times more than the number of bacterial species found in an average child. The bacteria present in stools transfers easily to the gut, increasing the risk of other diseases in the infant.

dirty diapers
Your baby’s health is in your hands, and you must change your baby’s diaper to avoid the side effects of using dirty diapers!

The expert shares, “Fungi like Candida can infect the moist areas of the skin and these rashes require medicated (anti-fungal) creams. According to some studies, staying in dirty diapers also increases the risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). The bacteria, present in stools can ascend up in the urinary tract from the diapers and can cause UTIs. The risk of UTIs is particularly more common in girls as their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus as compared to boys.”

Other risks associated with using diapers for long

The responsibility for a child’s good health lies with the parents. Diapers make the lives of parents seamless. However, they come with their share of disadvantages. Apart from the above-mentioned cons, using dirty diapers for long can have other side effects like the below:

1. Diapers can lead to allergic reactions

The skin of the babies is soft and gentle, and any harsh chemical can harm their skin. Some companies manufacture their diapers using synthetic, dyes, or other harsh chemical products. All of these have a not-so-good impact on the baby’s sensitive skin and can cause allergies.

Also read: A newborn’s skin is sensitive! Keep it healthy with these 5 tips

2. Can lead to skin rashes

Diaper rashes are a common outcome of using diapers for a prolonged time. If a dirty diaper is left unattended for a long, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and can lead to rashes. Make it a point to change the diapers on a regular basis to curb the risk of diaper rashes.

dirty diapers
A diaper rash in babies can be due to various reasons. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. The diaper area becomes toxic leading to diseases

As aforementioned, diapers are made using chemicals and synthetic materials and letting your baby stay exposed to such materials for long leads to toxicity. If used for a longer duration, then the diaper place can get unhygienic and there are high chances of those toxins entering into the baby’s system leading to a chain of chronic diseases in later life.

Parents should become more mindful of their child’s health and become aware of purchasers while procuring diapers for their baby by perusing the materials used and by changing them regularly.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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