Are Microwave Baby Bottle Sterilizers Safe and Effective
During the first year of life, babies are most at risk for contracting
viruses and infections. The Baby Center network recommends sterilizing
bottles if they are being used to feed infants. If safety instructions
are followed, microwave sterilizers are a quick, safe and effective
method of sterilizing baby bottles.
Baby Bottles Should be BPA Free
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed it’s original viewpoint on
plastics containing Bisphenol A (BPA). The FDA is now taking measures to
reduce how much BPA a person is exposed to. In studies, BPA was found
to have effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses
and in younger children.
When plastic containers containing BPA
are heated, the compound can leach into the formula and be ingested.
Glass bottles are best as they contain no BPA. Plastic bottles that say
BPA-Free are safer choices. Also, plastic bottles that are hard, clear
and inflexible often contain BPA and should be avoided.
Microwave Sterilizers Use Extreme High Heat
sterilizers use very high heat to sterilize a bottle. The process takes
five to eight minutes and will require a cool down period. Severe burns
can occur if the lid is taken off too quickly and steam is allowed to
escape quickly. Allowing the sterilizer to cool down and opening the lid
carefully will minimize risk of burns. Holding the sterilizer evenly
when removing from the microwave will ensure no boiling water escapes
from the unit and will also minimize risk of burns.
Microwave Sterilizers Can Pose Fire Hazards
must be placed in the bottom of the microwave sterilizer. If water is
not put in the unit or not enough water is put in, the sterilizer may
melt or start a fire. Following manufacturer guidelines will help
minimize risk of melting or fire.
Remove Foreign Objects from Microwave Before Sterilizing
foreign objects must be removed prior to using a microwave sterilizer.
Some objects, like metal, will have a reaction to the microwaves. Metal
objects in microwaves will cause intense heating and sparks that can
melt the sterilizer or even start a fire. Any item going in a microwave
needs to be marked “microwave-safe”.
Must Have Access to Microwave to Use Sterilizer
sterilizers are growing in popularity as a quick way to sterilizer baby
bottles. While they may be a convenient method of sterilizing bottles,
microwave sterilizers may not be an option if traveling to an area that
does not have microwaves available. It’s also important to note that
microwave temperatures and times vary in different countries and timing
guidelines may change.
Specific Baby Bottle Sizes for Microwave Sterilizers
include a safety sheet and detailed instructions with their microwave
sterilizers. They remind consumers that the sterilizer is designed for a
specific size of bottle and that the unit should not be overloaded.
When using a microwave sterilizer, it should be able to seal properly in
order for it to work as intended.
U.S Food and Drug Administration. "Bisphenol A (BPA)" (accessed September 29, 2010)
Environmental Working Group. "EWG’s Guide to Infant Formula and Baby Bottles: Safe Baby Bottle and Formula Guide"(accessed September 29, 2010)
Baby Center. "Sterlizing bottle–feeding equipment"(accessed September 29, 2010)
How Everything Works. "Microwave Ovens Home Page"(accessed September 29, 2010)
Philips Avent. "Express II Microwave Steam Sterilizer"(accessed September 29, 2010)
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