It was more than six years ago that my son was born. Those folks who told me kids grow up fast were exactly right. Just yesterday my son got his blue belt in karate. Now I am a little more careful around my son when his hands or feet are flying!
I thought of my son a lot this past week while beginning an article on eco-friendly amenities for kids. I have visited a lot of hotels with my son since he was born and not once were we offered any kind of amenities kit for kids. Truly a missed opportunity for those hotels to earn some kid and family loyalty—to create a special moment of excitement and anticipation.
In my initial research for my article I quickly discovered that most amenities companies do not offer eco- and skin-friendly amenities for kids. You see, kids’ skin needs special care. Katie Childs, Director of Sales for Gfl USA, says it is children between one month and five years whose skin is the most sensitive and who lose moisture the fastest. Mary Ann Pettorini, President of Principal Brands Inc., says, the dermis layer of younger kids can be 10 times thinner than that of adults. “Babies have fewer defenses against chemicals and sun,” she says.
Children’s amenities, when they are offered, tend to be offered at more upscale or luxury hotels or resorts. “[These types of] properties have taken the lead, but we have a range of products that can work at every level,” Pettorini says, adding that it is “thoughtful hotels” that offer green and safe amenities for kids.
Do Your Homework
Hoteliers and innkeepers should do their homework before purchasing amenities specially created for children. In describing its line for kids, Gfl USA, for example, says, “Each product is 100 percent paraben-free, made without mineral oils, SLS-SLES, silicone, EDTA, BHT, GMOs, animal derivatives or allergenic fragrances.”
Gfl USA’s Childs emphasizes, “The product must be pediatrician and ophthalmologist tested. Also, important (and shockingly missing from a lot of the children’s amenity collections I have seen) is a complete ingredient list. As a parent, it is important to know without a doubt what is going onto your child’s body!”
I must wonder how many companies have the patience to get the proper approval needed for a kids collection. Gfl USA says its Osmè Baby & Kids collection took more than three years to develop. Certification is also important. Childs says there is no U.S. or Canadian specific children’s certification. Gfl USA’s Osmè Baby & Kids collection has earned COSMOS Organic label certification (Europe). This certifies the purity of the ingredients in the soaps and lotions.
What I quickly learned in my initial research is that this is a very complex topic but fascinating as well. Be sure to watch for my article in the coming week. And, if you have a moment, shoot me an e-mail with your answers to these questions:
1. If your property does not yet offer eco-friendly amenities for kids, what is the reason? (Answers could range from cost to lack of product knowledge to brand guidelines.)
2. If your property has tried kids’ amenities—whether organic or not—what has your experience been? What have your guests told you?
3. Is trying to know ingredients, certifications, etc. so confusing that you would rather concentrate your energy on something else?
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