Baby toys are an essential part of their development. With these, the children have fun, exercise, learn and increase their skills and abilities. In short, toys favor the social, intellectual and physical development of the child.
However, sometimes such a noble product can be harmful to children. This occurs when the toy does not meet the minimum quality requirements or contains harmful chemicals. Therefore, the question arises: What material should baby toys be made of?
Why is it important to check the material of the baby toys?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of chemical products. For what reason? Because the little ones are in constant growth and physical development.
Also, because they still do not reach the physical and physiological maturity to metabolize and eliminate harmful chemical substances, as an adult can do. Exposure to toxic materials for certain periods of time can cause transient or permanent damage to babies.
Among these conditions are injuries related to structures and functions of the brain, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the endocrine system, among others. The negative effects of exposure to chemicals in baby toys are usually classified as follows:
- Acute poisoning
- Chemical burns
- Subclinical damage without acute toxicity.
- Long-term physical damage
Keep reading: How to stimulate the baby’s memory
What materials are toxic?
Currently, there is no definitive compilation of the negative effects of toxic materials on the health of children. However, the environmental NGO Greenpeace, in its “Guide to buying without toxic”, indicates that most of the dangerous substances in toys are derived from phthalate plasticizers.
In fact, it states that in 1999, the European Union (EU) banned the use of 6 phthalates in teethers for children under 3 years of age. Here is a list of the chemical products whose content in toys is of care:
Metals such as cadmium, mercury, and lead can cause severe problems of learning, behavior and mental retardation. In the referred to “Guide to buy without toxic”, you can identify baby toys that exceeded the designated levels of such materials by the regulations.
Phthalates are included in this category. These are chemical compounds that are generally used as plasticizers, fixatives of artificial flavors, cosmetics, among others. However, it is one of the toxic substances that has created the greatest alarm in the scientific community due to its possible carcinogenic effects.
Fragrances and allergens
There is a large amount of substances that can be toxic to children. According to the law, fragrances such as elecampane, simple cyanide, Abelmoschus musk, ethyl acrylate, among others, are totally forbidden in baby toys.
How can I know if my baby’s toys are safe?
In view of the great risk of toxic materials in toys, many countries have created awareness. As a result, they have enacted very specific laws and regulations on safety.
The toy industry must adhere to the corresponding sanitary standards. Otherwise, there is a danger that your items will be withdrawn from the market and must compensate for the damages. So, from this perspective, you can rest a little.
In the same way, by law, each toy must have its label and product identification. It is necessary to read the specifications well to be aware of the risks to which the baby could be exposed. This will allow you to evaluate if it is safe or not to buy such a toy.
On the other hand, whenever you buy a toy you should look for the brand: CE, which means “European Conformity”.
This seal is the manufacturer’s statement in which it states that its toys comply with the essential safety standards provided by Directive 88/378 CE. If baby toys have this brand, you can have confidence that your child will have contact with a safe product.
Good materials for baby toys
Currently, many mothers and fathers try to buy toys made from noble materials. Some of these are untreated wood, minerals, resins, fibers, pigments and natural waxes. Well, the fewer transformations and chemical processes they have, the better.
Also, there are synthetic materials such as polypropylene, a rather rigid plastic that is not toxic. In fact, it can still be used after recycling. Polyethylene is added to this list of appropriate materials. This is another polymer that is very popular in countries like the United States due to its safety.
In short, look for toys made with noble materials, natural and not processed by the industry. Remember to check the information on the product label.
A good toy should be fun, safe and carefree. We know that, as a father or mother, you are looking for your child to be away from unintentional risks.
Therefore, we recommend that the baby toys you select comply with the legal health regulations. It also creates the habit of always checking the product label and looking for the “CE” mark on toys. Maybe you will spend a little more time and money; but remember, your baby’s health is priceless.
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