From the moment of your baby’s birth, your parental duty is to love, nurture, teach and protect your child as they navigate this great big world. During your child’s formative years, you must make informed decisions regarding his or her health and safety, including the foods they eat, the places they visit, the toys they play with, and more.
Were you aware that, according to PBS’ weekly news magazine NOW, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (the governmental office responsible for regulating children’s toy) can’t legally test a children’s product to determine its safety before sale? Because of this, the toys that are deemed un-safe, either as a result of perceived harm or reported injury, are removed from the shelves following either a voluntary recall from the manufacturer, or a government mandated recall (which is consistent protocol in cases where a fatality was reported).
The experts at the Ecology Center who work tirelessly to “educate consumers to help keep their families healthy and safe,” say that parents must limit their child’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, many of which can be found in children’s toys and accessories, including:
The same experts state that small amounts of the above chemicals introduced into a child’s system, whether by placing a toy in the mouth or simple skin exposure, can negatively impact a growing child’s ability to reach his or her full potential, as they are more vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals. Furthermore, animal studies—and a small number of human studies—have linked these chemicals to long-term health impacts, such as birth defects, impaired learning, cancer, and more.
Before walking the aisles of your local toy store or scanning the web in search of a new toy for your child to enjoy, learn about approved baby gear brands from Healthy Child, Healthy World — a non-profit that empowers parents, influences policy and promotes solutions. The following 10 manufacturers take pride in crafting non-toxic toys made from natural materials, including solid wood (either unfinished or finished with a non-toxic coating), organic cotton, wool, and hemp. The majority of them conduct independent testing before introducing a new item to consumers.
- Green Toys
- Apple Park
- Little Tikes
- International Playthings
- Plan Toys
- Tiny Love
Knowledge is power, so we encourage you to conduct your own informal research by asking fellow parents for their product suggestions, as well as keep abreast of any news regarding children’s products, especially toys and playthings.