Using kajal can lead to watery eyes, itchiness, and even allergies. When kajal is washed off during a bath, it can pass down the small and narrow opening between the eyes and the nose. This opening can get blocked, causing infections.
Most kajal and surma available in the market contain high levels of lead that is harmful for your baby. Prolonged application may result in excessive lead storage in the body. This could affect your baby's brain, organs and the formation of marrow in his bones. Lead poisoning can also result in anaemia, low IQ and convulsions. In addition, the kajal you buy may not be blended properly. The ingredients or packaging could be contaminated.
When applying the kajal, dirty fingers or sharp and uneven fingernails can also hurt your baby's eyes. Apart from the immediate pain and the discomfort, your baby might lose his vision. Furthermore, the cornea or transparent layer that covers the centre of the eye is very sensitive. So using lead-free, homemade or 100 per cent natural kajal can be just as unsafe.
Applying kajal to a newborn's eyes is an age old tradition practised in many parts of the country. Well-meaning relatives and friends may advise you to apply surma or kajal to your newborn's eyes to ward off the evil eye or buri nazar. According to an old wives' tale, applying kajal or surma will help your baby's eyes become bright, large and attractive. But there is no evidence to suggest this is true.
If you wish to apply kajal or surma on your baby, why don't you try applying it somewhere other than the eye? Some mums put a small tika on the sole of the foot, behind one of the ears or at the hairline on the forehead. These are safer options.