So I'm not sure if any of you followed the saga where DS broke out into what first appeared to be eczema, then it steadily progressed into raw, oozing sores covering the entire back of his head, the back of his legs and his elbows. The pediatrician initially thought it was eczema but it kept on getting worse. We finally connected the dots and realized he was allergic to his car seat, a Chicco Keyfit 30, which we bought because it had the highest safety ratings for that year. The rash disappeared as soon as we put a cover on the car seat. (Incidentally, we contacted the company and they were zero help to us. I got the impression that they couldn't have cared less that they injured my son.)
Anyway, I've been trying to find out more about this, and I've come across a few blogs and websites of other parents who've experienced the same car seat allergy, often with the Chicco car seats.
However, this is the most useful link I've found: Emerging Patterns of Contact Dermatitis
It's written by a pediatric dermatologist who says he's seen this more and more recently in the last few years.
"Another newly recognized pattern of contact dermatitis is seen in infants exposed to certain car seats...Although not limited to a certain maker of infant car seats, we have observed a common type of shiny, water-resistant type material. Currently, our practice is working directly with a large manufacturer of infant car seats in order to better elucidate potential irritant or allergic contents of the infant car seat."
Basically, they say they aren't exactly sure yet which chemicals are causing the irritation. But I'd guess it's related to formaldehyde or other flame resistant chemicals.
I can't really tell how common this problem is, but I thought I'd throw it out there, in case any other parents are struggling to figure out why their child's head is turning into a raw scaly mess.
Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007
. Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy
and new mama to baby Arthur.