The first years of your little one's development are critical, so it is important to pay attention to all aspects that can hinder the process, and since babies and toddlers tend to explore their environment by putting things in their mouths, it makes sense to take a closer look at their toys.
There are many toys on the market today that are made with safety in mind, but there are also some that have been recalled due to choking hazards.
This article will help you choose the right toy for your toddler, and keep them safe from potential dangers.
1. Toys that should not be given to children under 3 years old:
- Small parts (metal, glass)
- Toys with small parts like buttons, screws, magnets, etc. may cause choking if swallowed.
- Hard plastic pieces - These toys may break and pose a risk of injury to young children.
- Soft rubber toys - They may contain small pieces of hard plastic which could get stuck in the throat.
2. Toys that should be kept out of reach of young children:
- Sharp edges
- Choking hazard - Toys with sharp edges such as scissors, knives, forks, spoons, etc.
- Cords and wires
- Toys containing batteries
3. Toys that should be cleaned regularly:
- Plastic toys
- Wooden toys
- Stuffed animals
Plastic takes an average of 400 years to disintegrate and represents 70% of the waste found in the oceans. Plastic toys and teethers made of PVC contain phthalates, used to make soft plastic, which are extremely toxic and can cause damage to kidneys, liver, and reproductive system. Some toys and baby essentials made of hard plastic contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a substance that accumulates in the brain and can cause behavioral and memory disorders. In fetuses and children up to three years of age, the effect is more serious because the brain is still developing.
Choosing the Right Toy for Your Baby
When choosing a toy for your baby, consider these factors:
Safety - Choose non-toxic toys that are safe for your baby. Avoid toys that have small parts, sharp edges, and loose parts. If you're unsure whether a toy is safe, contact a pediatrician before giving it to your baby.
Fun - Choose toys that are fun and engaging for your baby. Playtime activities should include learning, too. Try using play dough, finger paints, or music boxes.
Age Appropriate - Make sure that your baby’s favorite toy is appropriate for his/her age. Choose toys that are age-appropriate for your baby.
What Chemicals Should I Avoid in Children's Toys?
There are plenty of dangerous chemicals lurking in baby toys. But the most common ones are cadmium and lead. Cadmium is a heavy metal that’s often added to plastics to give them color and shine. Lead is another heavy metal that’ll leach into any liquid you put in a toy. It's especially bad if the toy is small enough that a kid could choke on it.
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, contains phthalates, endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to developmental disorders, which can leach out of the plastic.
How to be safe?
Choose toys that are made from natural rubber, organic cotton, silicone, wool, unfinished and sustainable wood, or finished with natural oils, beeswax, or non-toxic paint.
Avoid toys that contain toxic materials such as lead, phthalates, BPA, PVC, polyurethane foam, formaldehyde-based glue, or other chemicals known to be harmful to children's health.
Avoid toys containing small pieces of string, buttons, or magnets that could poke through clothing or skin.
If you're not sure what kind of toy will be safest for your child, check the label or ask a doctor at your local poison control center.
Why choose sustainable toys for your child?
Sustainable toys are made from natural, renewable materials. They don’t pollute the environment during any stage of development, and they are built to last without sitting in the landfills for centuries.
The best sustainable toy companies have a strong commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. They use recycled or recyclable materials whenever possible, and they strive to reduce their impact on the planet by using energy-efficient manufacturing processes.
What Is The Best Toy For My Toddler?
Choosing the perfect toy for your toddler can be difficult, especially when they're just starting to learn about the world around them. Luckily, we've got you covered with this list of the best toys for toddlers.
- Rag Dolls - If you want to give your toddler a doll that won't harm their health, then consider getting them a rag doll. These dolls are usually handmade using recycled fabrics and other materials, making them eco-friendly.
- BPA-Free Dolls – The dolls are made of soft vinyl, which is both durable and flexible.
- Kids Swings - Kids swings are great for kids who love being outdoors. They provide a fun way for kids to burn off energy and stay active.
- Wooden Toys - Wooden toys are sturdy and long-lasting. They can be used in the garden, on the beach or at the park. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which means they're perfect for any age. Wooden toys are green toys that will last longer than plastic toys. They are also free of toxic chemicals.
- Natural Rubber Toys - made from the natural rubber sap, tapped directly from the trees by carving the bark, making them 100% natural, eco-friendly and compostable.
- Silicone Blocks - Silicone is durable, flexible, stain-resistant, easy to clean, and able to endure extreme temperatures without deteriorating. Reusable and truly eco-friendly from start to finish. Silicone enhances the performance of products we use every day and makes the most of our natural resources at the same time.
- Organic Stuffed Animals - Stuffed animals are not only cute and cuddly, but they also make wonderful companions for children.
- Green Toys - biodegradable green toys are made of wheat straw. They are an eco-friendly material and a smart, environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. It is a premium food-grade material and is completely BPA-free and has FDA approval. The impact of regular plastic on the environment is devastating, and wheat straw plastic is an awesome alternative
How to clean wooden toys and other toys safely
Safely clean your little ones' toys with plant-based products free of harsh chemicals, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. Avoid soaking or immersing wooden toys in water, instead wipe them clean with a towel sprayed with warm water or white vinegar.