Posts Tagged ‘safe toys’

Safe, Inexpensive Baby Gifts for the New Arrival

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Phthalates-Free Duckies

Did you know that toy sales in the U.S. a few years ago reached $22 billion! That’s in just one year. Wow. A huge industry. And, when you consider that kids used to go outside and climb trees for fun, it’s relatively new. But how many of those toys are made with potentially harmful chemical materials? Probably a pretty hefty portion.

If you’re looking for safe gifts for a new baby, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) staff recently added a baby to their extended family and they did a little research to find gifts for the new addition. Fortunately, they passed their research onto us. Talk about a time saver!

Here’s their list of suggestions, along with EWG’s special links, where you can get good deals, and have a portion of what you spend go to EWG to support what they’re doing – which is immensely helpful to parents and children everywhere. Check out these products:

Glass baby bottles

BPA-free baby bottles, in case you need to use plastic

A natural wood, unpainted rattle, which could do double duty as a teether

A cuter, safer, version of the traditional rubber duckie, phthalates free

Chlorine-free disposable diapers
or cloth diapers, something all new parents need

A wonderful Dr. Seuss board book to get an early start on teaching the baby the alphabet

Organic cotton onesies, cozy and safe, and also high on the list of required items

All of these gifts are something that parents really need and appreciate. None are expensive, and all are good for girls and boys!

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, consider getting a Naturepedic organic crib mattress, a baby pillow, or bedding. All made with the healthiest, non-allergenic materials – no potentially toxic fumes off-gassing into the air the baby breathes. What parents wouldn’t appreciate that!?

Over One Third of Children’s Toys and Products Contain Chemicals that are Linked to Learning and Developmental Disabilities

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

non-toxic safe baby toysWe 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’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.

Unsafe Toys 2010: What Toys To Avoid this Holiday Season, and What to Buy

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Since we don’t have the advantage of being able to test for potentially dangerous chemicals in kids’ toys, it’s fortunate that others do – and will give us the results. Each year, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) publishes Trouble in Toyland, the report of an investigation into the safety of children’s toys. They go to stores, get lab reports, check recalls (their research has led to more than 150 recalls), and let us know what we definitely should not buy for our kids. They also give us guidance on what we should buy.

Following the most recent President’s Cancer Panel Report – which focused on the relationship between chemicals and cancer – Trouble in Toyland’s focus this year was on chemicals (although things that can be choked on are included as well – always an issue). Their list of what toys not to buy is in the Trouble in Toyland report (very worth reading all the way through), but you can get also a quick look on their Unsafe Toy List 2010.

There are only eight unsafe toys on the list, but they are definitely very popular items likely to attract many buyers and kids – including you, and yours. Check the list for the names, photographs, and so on.

What does PIRG recommend?

Avoid PVC/vinyl toys and brightly colored plastics.

Stay away from toys with small parts and from toys small enough for kids to choke on if they put it in their mouths. This includes small balls and balloons, which can completely block your child’s airway and suffocate them.

Choose toys made with unpainted wood and other natural materials like wood or cotton.

Anything colored should be verified as having used nontoxic dyes or paints.

Don’t buy costume jewelry for kids. It usually contains lead or other harmful chemicals.

Knowing your child will be safe with the toys you select for the holidays makes giving even more fun.