BY EMILY FLETCHER
A few months ago, I played reverse-Santa one heartbreaking night and took all my baby Isabella’s toys away. I did this because I’d found out that they had potentially harmful chemicals in them. These chemicals are BPA and phthalates which the World Health Organisation classes as endocrine disrupting chemicals. BPA has been strongly linked to breast cancer and phthalates are linked to low sperm count and undescended testes amongst other disorders.
Whilst we now might choose to avoid these chemicals in our water bottles and food storage containers, they are still commonly present in our children’s toys. Young children are at the greatest risk of exposure because they put EVERYTHING in their mouths.
I’m now pretty careful when it comes to new toy purchases. To buy safe, non-toxic toys, I’m looking for them to be made of the following materials:
I’m in love with natural rubber almost as much as my Isabella is. I love how it doesn’t leech chemicals and she loves the soft, grippy, squeaky, rubbery feel. Such a winner.
ORGANIC NATURAL FIBRES
Unfortunately we don’t know what textiles contain chemicals and what don’t unless we buy organic natural fibres. For dolls and teethers, organic cotton/hemp is a beautiful, safe option.
A great, safe material for teethers and toys.
No BPA, phthalates, lead or PVC. PVC has extremely high concentrations of phthalates.
Maple, walnut, poplar, ash, beech and birch wood can all create gorgeous, safe toys. Some woods naturally contain harmful toxins, so just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s always safe!
Not only is the material important in bath toys, but it’s also crucial for safety that the toy doesn’t have any holes in it which squirt water or make the toy squeak. These create a hidden mould trap which is impossible to dry out.
Emily Fletcher is an Optometrist, Mother and Writer. Find out Emily’s favourite non-toxic toys and more HERE