With all the excitement of a new baby in the family, the first thing friends and relatives want to do is bring a gift of some sort. Often, that gift is a plastic toy. The trouble is, plastic toys, particularly ones made in China, can be a source of dangerous toxins. The toxicity of these toys is reason enough not to want them in the house, but in addition, they’ll more than likely become landfill too. Also, most babies and small children don’t need the piles of toys they get inundated with. Ultimately, choosing fewer, higher-quality toys that will last and be passed down is undoubtedly a better option. So, what are your options for plastic-free toys?
What are the Toxins in Toys?
The threat from plastic toys comes from BPA, phthalates, and lead. Let’s have a look at each one in more detail.
BPA (Bisphenol A)
Research suggests that BPA can affect the brain and prostate gland in foetuses, babies and children. BPA can also create behaviour changes. Unfortunately, BPA is common in polycarbonate plastics such as drinking bottles, food containers and toys.
DEHP is commonly used as a plasticiser to make materials such as PVC more flexible and soft. Adverse effects include developmental issues, reproductive problems, asthma and cancer. Although DEHP is banned in Australia for some products such as toys for young children, unscrupulous suppliers are still importing toys with phthalates.
Using lead in toys is not banned. Incredibly, lead is still used to make plastic more malleable and return to its original shape. Babies and young children are most at risk from lead poisoning. The adverse effects of exposure to lead include many physical and mental developmental issues.
Buy Plastic-Free Toys
The safest way to avoid exposing your little ones to these toxins in toys is only to buy plastic-free toys. Plus, have a quiet word with friends and relatives and let them know your concerns. After all, they would prefer to buy the things you want. Plastic-free toys include toys made from wood and organic materials. There are a ton of great websites selling plastic-free toys. Plus, Elves has a range of beautiful organic kid’s toys for you to browse.