Babies generally have very soft and sensitive skin. Environmental factors like climate changes, air pollution and hard water play a major role in affecting it and turning it dry.
The initial two factors are not in your control to a great extent, but the third factor is something that you can control by following a few tips. Before moving on to tips, let’s get to understand what hard water is and how it affects your baby’s skin.
Hard water consists of a high quantity of dissolved mineral salts, especially calcium and magnesium. This kind of water can corrode your taps, bathroom fittings and home appliances like geysers, dishwashers and washing machines.
It can also leave white spots on washed utensils and clothes, giving them a dull look. If it can have such an impact on these things, just imagine the kind of harsh effects it can have on a baby’s sensitive skin.
Not just for baby bathing, there are a wide range of filters and water softeners out there in the market to soften or purify hard water for your daily home usage. In such a case, people prefer whole house water softeners or filtering systems.
So that you can prevent your toilets, water-using appliances, sinks and piping lines from stain and scales. However, when you’re specific about softening water for your baby’s daily bathing, here are some of the tips to distil your hard water.
What Hard Water Does to Your Baby’s Skin?
As mentioned earlier, hard water has a high percentage of magnesium and calcium, which binds with the chemicals present in soaps and shampoos. This leads to the formation of surfactants, which results in skin build-up and disturbs the natural skin balance. This makes sensitive baby skin prone to various effects of harmful bacteria, thus leading to skin infections.
Using hard water for bathing your baby can result in a lot of skin problems like eczema and rashes. You can see leathery, red patches on the skin of your baby, which could either be simple rashes or the first signs of eczema. Eczema generally spreads in nappy area, neck folds, cheeks, behind the knees, skin folds and joints. This makes the skin very sensitive and dry. Prolonged usage of hard water makes this condition a recurring problem of varying severity each time.
All these skin-related problems can affect your child a lot and make him or her very cranky throughout the day. Rather than visiting the doctor every time and using medicines or ointments each time, it is better to find a permanent solution to these problems caused due to hard water.
Water Softener: The Ideal Solution
Softening the hard water using a water softener is the ideal solution to save your little one from its harmful effects. A softener is used to remove minerals like magnesium and calcium from hard water. Water softening is done using an efficient ion exchange method. This reduces the water hardness by exchanging the calcium present in water with potassium and sodium.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
A water softener usually has a mineral tank, a control tank, and a brine tank. The mineral tank has a bed resin, where the water gets softened. The control valve measures the water, which enters the tank. The brine tank is where the water softening regeneration takes place.
At first, the hard water enters a mineral tank, which has resin beads. These beads are made up of polystyrene and are charged with the sodium ion. They act like anion with a negative charge, whereas the minerals like calcium and magnesium have a positive charge (cation). When hard water passes through the beads, these negatively charged beads grab the positively charged minerals and remove them from the water. The regeneration process is also important in a softener. When all the resin beads take up the positive magnesium and calcium ions, you can wash the beads in a brine solution (salt and water solution).
So, don’t think twice before getting a water softener for your home, especially if you have a baby at home. Soft water will protect them from the threats of a lot of skin diseases. Water softening can also help you protect your little one from hair-related problems like hair breakage, scalp dryness, frizziness, dullness and tangles. Usually, these water softeners are pocket-friendly and don’t require a lot of maintenance. You can also buy a water softener as a preventative measure if you are shifting to a new place and don’t have any idea about the kind of water there. Hard water is also harmful to new mothers. Hence, try avoiding the use of hard water as much as possible and invest in water softeners.