By Fredrica Syren:
As a parent of three beautiful children, I worry about so many things: Do they eat enough? Is the air the breath clean? Will they fall from that tree they are climbing? Is the car seat safe? What I really do not want to worry about is if that cute little toy they are playing with contains chemicals that could endanger their lives and/or cause serious health risks for them down the line.
We have come a long way with regard to safer toys for children; however, most common toys still contain chemical hazards. Many toys are made from plastic, and most of them contain phthalates and/or Bisphenol-A (BPA), both of which have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and developmental problems in children. Furthermore, painted toys may contain lead and other heavy metals, which have been linked to serious impairments in babies and in children’s developing brains. Yeah, you see the problem: toys may not be as innocent and safe as we parents would hope for.
It actually angers me that today, with the availability of research proving how dangerous toxic chemicals are to humans — more importantly — to children, there still are toxic chemicals used in everyday children’s products. If we then take a moment to think about how much toys are handled and mouthed by our little ones, it only makes sense to avoid all toys containing chemicals and to take that extra time to really know what’s in the toys given to your kids.
Now, on to the good news — and, yes, there is someJ Nowadays, there are increasing numbers of healthy and chemical-safe toys available. The really good news is that what is a safe toxic-free toy option for a child is also a much better alternative for the planet.
The first thing to do is to go through all the toys at home to see if any of them have been recalled at HealthyToys.org and/or at CPSC. The best choice is to avoid soft plastic toys because they are most likely to contain PVC unless stated on packaging.
- Buy toys made with solid woods, wool, organic cotton, stainless steel and toys painted with water-based dues or nontoxic paints.
- Favor non-battery operated toys because, not only is it better for the planet, but also the batteries are loaded with toxins.
- Favor high quality toys because, as much as it pains me to say so, toys made with better and safer material tend to be more expensive. The good news is that they also tend to last longer.
Here is a list of great eco- and chemical-safe toy sellers: