Is kajal safe for baby?
Kajal for baby -This is a question that we are asked quite often and I can understand how confusing it can be for a first time mum to make this decision. On one hand, you have parents and other elders in your family advising you to apply kajal and on the other hand, you doctor and internet may be advising you against the very thing. Today, we try to to look at the various pros and cons and how we can perhaps get the same benefit while avoiding the harms that it may cause.
What is Kajal for Baby?
Kajal or surma or kohl is basically the carbon residue left after burning an oil or ghee or any other similar stuff. Many people prefer making kajal at home by burning ghee, oil or sandalwood. The residue is collected in a container over the burning flame, mixed with ghee sometimes and then used as kajal. This residue is just a form of carbon that is used as kajal for baby.
Why is kohl or kajal for baby recommended by many? What are the supposed benefits of kajal?
The practice of applying kajal in baby’s eyes is age-old and people have been putting kajal for various reasons. Here we look at some of the supposed benefits traditionally believed by many.
- Kajal makes baby’s eyes look bigger and it can make them bigger – While kajal make the eyes look bigger, there is no way that natural size of eyes will change by the application of kajal.
- Kajal improves eye sight – There is no scientific proof of this belief. In fact, most experts believe that any external thing in the eyes can only harm them.
- Kajal keeps baby’s eyes cool and soothes them – Kajal does not keep your baby’s eyes cool, instead it may cause itching, watery eyes and even infection.
- Kajal wards off evil eye and protects baby – This is anyway just a matter of belief. There is no logical explanation to evil eye and it’s effects.
Why is kajal for baby not recommended?
You will see that doctors do not recommend putting kajal in baby’s eyes. Here are some of the top reasons.
- There is no scientific evidence proving the beliefs in favour of kajal. There is no proof available that kajal can improve baby’s eye sight or make them bigger.
- Kajal or kohl is a foreign substance and eyes are one of the most delicate parts of human body. Any foreign substance can cause damage to the eye.
- Kajal in eyes can lead to itchiness, watery eyes and in worst cases infection.
- Kajal in eyes can get washed during bath and can block the narrow opening between nose and eyes, which can lead to tears not getting drained. This may cause watery and sticky eyes.
- Often store-bought kajal contains lead in them, which is very harmful.
- The germs on your fingers or the applicator can pass on to the eyes and cause infection to baby’s eyes.
Can you use home-made kajal for baby?
It is best to avoid putting kajal in eyes, whether it is home-made or store-bought. As discussed previously, the germs on your fingers or the applicator can pass on to the eyes and cause infection to baby’s eyes.
What to do if your family insists on putting kajal in baby’s eyes ?
You can try and tell the family members that doctor has advised against putting kajal in eyes. Other than that, you may do the following to pacify elderly members so that you do not
- To pacify them, you may put a dot of kajal on baby’s forehead or under the foot or behind the ear as suggested by many to ward off evil eye. This way you are pacifying them, but also not putting your baby’s eyes at risk.
- You can also put something external like a black thread or black beads for the same purpose.
How to make homemade kajal ?
Here is a common way in which kajal is traditionally made. You can make kajal in this way, but do not put it in baby’s eyes. You can use it to apply it on forehead or behind the ear or under the foot.
Below is a common recipe using mustard oil.
- Mustard oil
- Three clay lamps
- Steel plate
- The first step is to make kohl. For this, fill in mustard oil into the clay lamp or diya.
- After this, soak one to two cotton wick in this oil and light them up.
- Now place two bowls or diyas upside down on each side of the burning lamp.
- Next, cover the bowls with a steel plate.
- You can leave the diya burning for a few hours
- You will see the kohl or soot collected on the inner side of the steel plate.
- Collect this kohl into a container with the help of a spoon or knife.
- Take a bowl and add some ghee in it.
- You can also take some vitamin E oil in place of ghee.
- Add kohl in it and mix the ingredients.
- Store this kajal in a clean metal container.