We all like buying toys for our kids. We usually have several in the toy chest even before the baby is born. Shortly after birth little boys are often presented with footballs and miniature hockey sticks; little girls with what we hope will be their favorite dolls; and both get the teddy bears and rubber duckies.
But before you go out on a shopping spree, you should have more information on which toys are actually safe. We’re not talking about the usual safety concerns – small parts in a baby’s mouth, we’re talking about chemicals.
We already know that rubber duckies, or any toy made of vinyl, may well contain phthalates or other chemicals you really don’t want your baby to ingest. But phthalates aren’t the only toxic chemicals you have to worry about.
In fact, according to the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health, over one third of children’s toys and products contain chemicals that are linked to learning and developmental disabilities.
How’s that for a scary statistic?
To help handle the problem and make sure parents are informed about which toys are safe and which aren’t, Senator Roger Kahn of Michigan is drafting legislation designed to “to protect your kids from toxic chemicals found in their most popular toys.”
Says Senator Kahn, “I don’t want them to get poisoned from cadmium or zinc or arsenic or anything.”
If you’re in Michigan, you’re in luck. You have a Senator that recognizes the problem and cares enough to do something about it.
At Naturepedic, we protect children by making crib mattresses that have been independently tested and certified so we, and you, can be sure our products don’t emit any harmful chemical fumes your baby might breathe while spending 15 or so hours in the crib everyday.
But it doesn’t stop with the crib. Toys are a very big concern.
Find out more about the chemicals in toys on the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health. There is also information in our blog Unsafe Toys 2010: What Toys To Avoid this Holiday Season, and What to Buy that you may find useful.
If you would like information on specific toys and children’s products, check out HealthyStuff.org’s very helpful list. It categorizes products with ‘None,’ ‘Low,’ ‘Medium,’ and ‘High’ levels of concern.
You can also find a list of websites with safe and fun toys on the Toys page of Debra’s List.
Do your baby and yourself a favor: Get them safe toys.