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Toxic Toys

From the moment a mom is told she is pregnant, strict measures start coming into play. They stop drinking alcohol, avoid certain foods and even change their clothing to make themselves and baby safe and comfortable. These measures get even more intense after the baby is born when everything they use to eat is boiled and sanitized. Sadly, what some parents don’t know is that some of the toys they buy for their children contain high amounts of toxins. While boiling may kill most of the germs found in toys, it cannot get rid of the amounts of toxins found in some toys that cause adverse health issues to humans.

Chemicals found in toys

Phthalates: This is a chemical used to make plastic toys soft and chewable for the child and pets. Unfortunately, this chemical is highly toxic in large amounts and it is known to cause disorders like asthma, skeletal defects, and allergies. It also causes damage to the lungs, kidneys and male reproduction system. This chemical is so toxic that it was banned from being used in the United States and the European Union but, it is still being used in countries like China, Taiwan, Philippines, and Japan which make 80% of all toys found in the world.

Arsenic and lead: As children grow older, parents move from chewable toys and buy leather balls, ropes, and rubber toys to play with. In the production of these leather balls, a lethal chemical called arsenic is used to remove hair from the animal hides to make leather. Other chemicals used in this process include lead, sulfites, lime, bleach and other acids. Arsenic and lead are not only absorbed by ingestion but also through touching and smelling.

Paint: Have you ever seen those very colorful toys that just invite you to buy them? Well, don’t. Most of these toys come from China and they are painted to make them more attractive. When the baby puts the toy in their mouth, the paint comes out and they ingest it.

Dye: Most fluffy toys, tennis balls, and ropes are dyed so they can be colorful and attractive to the children and pets. Unfortunately, dye contains harmful chemicals and should not be ingested.

How to protect your pets and children from toxic toys

  • Buy US-made toys because they are likely to have fewer chemicals. The United States has many corporations and institutions in place to ensure all their toys are toxin-free.
  • Sniff the toys before buying. If they have a strong chemical smell, don’t buy them.
  • Avoid toys that are brightly colored or dyed.
  • Stay away from vinyl toys which are a soft plastic and ropes because they come apart easily and contain dye.
  • Don’t buy small toys that can be a choking hazard and always check the label for manufacturer’s statements.

With everything you have done to protect your child from harm, don’t let something as simple as a toy ruin all your effort. Do your due diligence when buying all toys and avoid hand me downs or toys that are several years old.

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