A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns families against using plastic containers to store children’s food.
Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images
Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Plastic containers can be dangerous to children, pediatricians warn

A warning for parents -- using plastic containers to store food might cause health risks for children.

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A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents to stop microwaving food in plastic containers and stop cleaning them in the dishwasher.

Chemicals in the plastic, including BPA and phthalates, could get into the food and cause hormonal problems in children, doctors said.

Young children are especially at risk of chemical exposure because they are still developing.

Pregnant women are also at risk, the report states.

AAP recommends the following steps to limit exposure to chemicals:

  • Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed meats -- especially during pregnancy.
  • Avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic, since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food.
  • Avoid putting plastics in the dishwasher.
  • Use alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.
  • Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene) and 7 (bisphenols), unless they are labeled as “biobased” or “greenware.”
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food and clean all fruits and vegetables that cannot be peeled.

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