If you’re a new mom, you may have heard about the dangers of BPA exposure for both you and your baby. But what is it that you really need to know about BPA? Is it really all that dangerous, and should you really be taking steps every day to avoid it as much as possible?

The Dangers of BPA

There are plenty of good reasons to avoid products that contain BPA, especially if those products are going to be used by your baby. Basically, experts are not entirely certain about BPA’s effects on the human body, but the FDA has expressed a level of concern regarding its potential effects on the behavior, prostate gland, and brain of fetuses, infants, and young kids. Also, experts are concerned that BPA could have an adverse effect on hormones and the heart, and that it may increase the risk of cancer. All of these effects may be worse in babies and children because their bodies are still growing and developing. Scary!

What Can You Do to Keep Your Baby Safe?

As a new mom, you may not be sure about what steps you should take to keep your child safe from the potentially dangerous effects of BPA exposure. Thankfully, there are some easy steps that you can take.

Only purchase plastic products that clearly state they’re BPA free. Everything from tableware and bottles to sippy cups now come in versions that are safer for children of all ages.

Check the aluminum cans that you purchase at the supermarket, as they may also contain BPA. Labels will tell you if cans are BPA free, so stick with those. Keep in mind, too, that infant formula that comes in a can may be contaminated with BPA, so purchase only formulas that state they’re BPA free.

Opt to use food containers and bottles that are made of materials like stainless steel, porcelain, and glass. Avoiding plastic food containers and plastic bottles will help limit the exposure to BPA.

• If you’re going to use plastic containers, never heat them up in the microwave. If they do contain BPA, it could easily leach out into your food when heated in the microwave. And if you’re going to use a plastic bottle for your baby’s formula, don’t pour boiling water into it, as it will have the same effect.

If you have plastic bottles or cups that have been damaged, get rid of them, as the BPA within them may leach into your beverages. And avoid using any plastic containers that have the number 3 or 7 as the recycling code because those products might contain BPA.