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Tagless Tops Giving Babies Rashes?

Are you shopping for winter clothes for your baby? And has your child ever had a rash you couldn’t work out was the cause of? Read this before you hit the shops.

In recent months, several parents of children with mysterious rashes on their necks and shoulders have been blogging about what they suspect is allergic reactions and chemical burns caused by tagless shirts and dresses.

Tagless shirts, the ones with the size and the care instructions printed on the inside of the shirt, instead of the traditional tag, have become increasingly popular recently, as they are supposedly more comfortable to wear.

But parents have been speculating that their childrens’ rashes are caused by phthalates in the ink used to print the label onto the inside of the shirt. Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals, components of many plastics, that have garnered much bad press lately for their potential health risks. Phthalates make the plastic ink softer, and easier to print onto baby shirts. But phthalates are also reputed to be skin irritants, and have been linked to asthma and in large quantities, liver damage.

Carter’s tops have been blamed in most cases, and reportedly Carter’s have said that the problem, what they call a “rare allergic reaction,” is isolated to Fall 2007 clothing. A quick internet search reveals many cases of rashes before and after that date, caused by summer and fall clothing.

One mom blogger has photographs of her poor little daughter’s red neck she says is caused by Carter’s clothing worn this July. Another blogger needed medical attention for her daughter’s rash from a summer 2007 Carter’s dress.

And then there’s all these parents posting on a message board with tales of their children’s reactions to tagless clothes. It seems to be mainly Carter’s clothes, but Circo (sold at Target) appear to cause similar problems.

Has your child had a mysterious rash on their neck or shoulders?

I’m packing away my son’s summer clothes and thinking about what new sweaters and shirts he’ll need for his winter wardrobes, and I expect you are doing the same for your little one. I think that I’ll be looking for shirts with traditional labels, at least in shirts and pajamas he’ll wear next to his skin.


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