Applying Kajal is an age-old tradition in India but is it really safe? Kajal is also known as surma and it is usually applied to the inner eyelids. Apart from India, it is used in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. It is prepared using soot from oil lamps with ghee or castor oil. Every Indian family applies kajal to baby’s eyes due to various traditional beliefs. But, various modern mothers are unsure whether they should apply kajal in their baby’s eyes? Is kajal for baby safe?
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Is Kajal for baby - Is it safe?
To take a decision about whether kajal is safe for the baby or not has raised many eyebrows. There are many myths about why kajal is applied to babies.
Most Common Reasons Why Kajal is applied
- Application of kajal to baby’s eyes makes the eyes bright, large and attractive.
- Kajal protects, soothes and cleanses the eyes against infection and sharp sun glares.
- Use of kajal in baby’s eyes will ward off the evil eye.
Why should you say No to Kajal for baby?
Most commercially produced kajals have a very high level of lead in them. This is harmful to the baby as too much of lead is stored in the kajal which affects the brain, organs and bone marrow. This may lead to anemia, low IQ, and convulsions.
Kajal leads to itchiness, watery eyes and other allergies to the baby. If Kajal is washed during a bath it passes through small and narrow opening between the eyes and nose of the baby leading to various infections.
The ingredients of the kajal can be contaminated and are harmful to babies. In addition, when applying kajal, your sharp and uneven fingernails can cause discomfort to the baby. Also, if your hands are unclean or infected, it might affect your baby and your infections can be passed on to the baby.
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What are the alternative options?
The best option is to apply a small mark of kajal behind one of the eyes at the hairline on the forehead. Alternatively, you can apply you can apply on the sole of the baby’s foot if you believe in warding off evil. Check the ingredients when buying from the store, it would be better to purchase organic ones. Prepare kajal for baby at home rather than buying it from outside.
How to make kajal at home?
- Take a white, clean muslin cloth and soak it in sandalwood paste. Dry it in the shade. This process should be done during the daytime.
- In the evening, roll the cloth in a thin wick and lit a mud lamp with this filled in castor oil.
- Keep a brass plate smeared in garlic juice over the lamp, leaving enough gaps for oxygen to aid burning of the lamp overnight.
- Scrape off the carbon powder in the morning deposited in the brass plate into a clean dry box. Mix with a few drops of ghee and store it.
This preparation can be used on a daily basis as this has medicinal values. With this usage, you can keep intact the old beliefs of using kajal and eliminate the risks of applying commercially made kajal. Keep your baby's eyes safe!
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