Q. When can parents switch their children from baby shampoos or lotions to adult brands?
A. "There's no real age cutoff for switching over from children's shampoo or products to adult," says Dr. Roya Samuels, a pediatrician at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Here are some things to consider:
"The whole reason we tend to use children's shampoo products is they are 'tear-free,'" Samuels says. So parents could switch when the child developmentally is able to wash his or her own hair without getting the product in the eyes, usually around age 8 to 10, she says.
The reason kids' shampoos are tear-free is that they have fewer chemicals that are potential eye irritants, Samuels says. So parents may want to stick with them longer just to avoid unnecessary chemicals, she says. Why don't adults use them, then? "Adults like things to smell good and feel lathery and smooth. All of these things are the result of various chemicals," Samuels says.
As for lotions, children's skin can be particularly sensitive. They may be prone to eczema or other issues. With both shampoo and lotion, parents should read labels carefully and look for hypoallergenic products that are dye-free and fragrance-free, Samuels says. Avoid phthalates and parabens, which can be harmful to children if absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, Samuels says. Parents should use moisturizer on their children after showers or baths for maximum effectiveness, Samuels says.