By: Tiffany Washko
You are no doubt concerned with the health of our planet and the health of your new baby. In light of these concerns you may decide to look into organic baby toys. Here is a rundown of what you should know about how to choose the best organic toys for your little one.
Be on the Look Out For Lead
Lead poisoning is serious business for children and adults alike, but children and babies especially, are high risk because their minds and brains are still in the development stage. If you look lead paint on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website you can get some really good information about how to spot and avoid toys tainted with lead paints.
You are correct to think that lead paint was banned many years ago, but the abundance of foreign manufactured toys means that some lead may appear on toy shelves anyway. Lots of eco aware parents like buy second hand and vintage at thrift stores and consignment shops, and older toys can contain lead. If you have doubts about toy safety, don’t purchase the toy.
Buying Healthy Toys
A large benefit of choosing organic baby toys is the fact that they are usually made with natural and non-toxic substances. This is important because so many toys on the market are made with plastics and nasty chemicals.
Even though our government may say certain substances are safe for toys you should be aware of the some there is debate about this. One toxin to look out for is phthalates. They are used to soften plastic and make it more pliable. Bisphenol A or BPA is another potential concern. BPA often appears in baby bottles, baby dishes, and other baby eating items. To avoid BOA in these products choose glass baby bottles, glass or stainless steel sippy cups, and wood or metal dishes.
Look for natural and organic baby toys. Materials used in them may vary from ethically harvested and sustainable wood, to recycled rubberwood, to bamboo, to organic cloth. Avoid plastic toys as much as you can and you will be preventing mass quantities of this unrecyclable material from entering our waste stream and they are safer for babies and small children.
Most parents will opt to buy plastic sometimes though. Cost can be a big factor for many and plastic is generally cheaper. Be sure to do your research and choose BPA-free and PVC-free plastic toys. Also look to see if the toys are painted with nontoxic dyes and paints. Be sure to check for product recalls to make sure the toy you want hasn’t been recalled for lead or the presence of some other dangerous element. Also check older toys thoroughly for safety.
You may need to do your homework when choosing toys but it is worth it!
Tiffany Washko is the editor of Nature Moms, a site for natural and green parents. She frequently addresses natural and safe toys, including Eco Friendly Dollhouses.