Toys are wonderful things to entertain a child. Psychologists say that toys contribute in the mental development of growing babies. This is one of the reasons why many parents are willing to spend thousands of dollars to give their child the best toys in the world. Even under tight budget, many parents will make it sure that their child have some toys to play around. The worldwide multibillion dollar sales in baby toys is an indication that parents, whatever their social and economic status, are spending money to buy toys for their children and make them happy. Unfortunately, many parents don’t know that some of the toys they buy may endanger the health of their children.
If you are a parent reading this article right now, it is important that you need to educate yourself about the dangers of toys made from toxic chemicals. Read below some of the toys to avoid and the eco-friendly and safe toys that you can buy for your child.
Toys To Avoid
Toys that seem to be safe in the 1990s may not be safe today. Through the years, scientists have discovered that some of the chemicals used to make common toys are actually harmful to the human body. These harmful chemicals enter the child’s body through the mouth. Babies tend to put things in their mouth in preparation for teething or to explore the feel of the toys. As a parent, you don’t want your child to be harmed by these toxic toys. The only way to protect them is by not exposing them to these harmful toys.
Avoid buying toys made from soft plastic as this kind of plastic contains pthalate, a harmful chemical usually found in vinyl flooring, pipes, ceiling tiles, sidings, and window frames. Pthalates are added to plastics to make them flexible and durable. Scientists discovered that pthalates are endocrine disruptors. They affect the endocrine system negatively. The European Union has already banned the use of various types of pthalates in manufacturing toys. In the US, Central Disease Control (CDC) restricted the use of pthalates in pacifiers, tethers, and soft rattles. Many countries are doing the same to protect the health of babies. When shopping for toys, look for toys labeled with “Pthalate Free” or similar signs.
Also avoid buying painted toys. There could still be toys painted with paint containing lead. Since lead-free paints are more expensive, many toy manufacturers that mass-produced toys are using paints with lead to cut down cost. Many countries now restrict the use of paint with lead in manufacturing toys. Be careful with cheap painted toys made in China because they may contain lead. Enforcement of regulatory laws are lax in China and Chinese manufacturers are fun of cutting down cost to increase profit.
Buy Bisphenol-A (BPA) free toys. Before being discovered as harmful, many baby bottles and toys contain BPA, a compound linked to various health problems such as obesity, cancer, and reproductive problems. Today, many countries ban the use of BPA in bottles, toys, and other things. Look for toys with “BPA Free” label to prevent your child from being exposed to BPA.
One important reason why you should avoid the harmful toys above is that they are not eco-friendly. When these toys are disposed, they will leach out to the ground and contaminate the soil, water, and even the air. Plastic toys in particular are serious environmental problems
Now you know some of the toys you need to avoid buying for your child, learn some of the toys that are safe and eco-friendly for your child.
Consider buying wood toys finished with beeswax and other natural oil finishes. Unlike paint, these natural oil finishes are not contaminated with lead so lead poisoning will be avoided. Wood toys, on the other hand, is better than plastic as they don’t contain pthalates and BPA that are harmful to your child’s health. Unlike plastics, they will not become brittle over time. Brittle plastic toys break or snap easily causing injuries during play time. In addition, wood toys are usually crafted with an excellent level of workmanship and their smooth contours will get the interest of of your child. Thus, babies will surely enjoy them. Finally, wood toys are durable enough to last through several children. This way, you don’t need to buy new toys for your next baby.
Buy plush animals and other cloth toys made from organic fabrics. This will prevent your child from being exposed to harmful pesticides. Cotton, in particular, is heavily applied by growers with pesticides which are not totally removed during processing. Fortunately, there are now toys made up of organic cotton sold by online stores like Pristine Planet. So check them out!
In conclusion, give your child BPA Free, Pthalate Free, Pesticide Free and Lead Free toys to protect their health. These toys are not only safe but also eco-friendly.