Dangerous Toys and Toy Recalls What Parents Need To Know
Not all children’s toys are as safe as manufacturers would have you believe. Many toys slip though the safety checks and onto the toy shelves and then into the eager hands and mouths of our children. Dangerous Toys and Toy Recalls What Parents Need To Know guides parents in the right direction when choosing toys.
Toy recalls is something parents need to be very aware of, as unfortunately they are all to common these days, be it lead paint on that popular toy train, to asbestos contaminated crayons.
This article will open your eyes to the truth about the toys that commonly make it onto the store shelves and we will also give you a list of safer and Eco-friendlier, more ethical, toy brands.
Parents Need To Question What Children’s Toys Are Made From?
Many of the activity type, craft toys are made from a mixed concoction of synthetic and artificial chemicals that we parents have no idea about.
Here is a list of popular kids toys that have very questionable ingredients –
- fluorescent & glow in the dark slime making kits
- dolls that change colour
- magic molding foam
- metallic paints, glow in the dark magic pens, puff paints etc.
- make your own lip-gloss, makeup & nail polish kits
- plastic beads that you make into various shapes and then.. the good bit, you actually MELT the plastic to make the beads stick together.
Should we as parents be so blindly trusting in the safety of these products and should we readily buy these type of toys for our kids?
Toy Recalls A Common Occurrence
Toy recalls are constantly in the news; e.g lead paint concerns, formamides in puzzle foam floor mats etc.
It never ceases to amaze me that these products make it onto the shelves in the first place.
Governments try to instill confidence in us, that they have very strict standards and guidelines for toys, but yet toy recalls are all too common.Take for instance this story;
Popular Toy Plastic Bead Craft Kit Found To Contain The Toxic Chemical 1,4 Butanediol.
A few years back there was a massive recall of an Australian, extremely popular, kids craft toy. This toy had recently won the Toy of the Year Award. As with the majority of toys, this toy was manufactured over in China, where it is extremely cheap to produce products, but a lot harder to maintain strict quality control.
The toy consisted of small, plastic beads that stuck together with water. The reason for the recall was a few young children ingested these supposedly harmless beads and became seriously ill, with two of the children lapsing into unresponsive comas.
The company have since been reformulated and re-released the product. The company also took an extra precautionary measure and coated the beads with a bitter substance, so as to discourage children from putting them in their mouths.
Dangerous Toys Slipping Through Safety Regulations & Onto The Toy Shelves
As parents sometimes it is hard not to give in to our kids, especially when kids see their friends playing with the latest toy craze. But.. we need to be very aware and understand that toxic toys unfortunately can slip past the regulations and do land on the shelves and therefore we need to protect our kids be saying no to them. If we are at all suspicious of the product, we should instead offer them safer alternatives.
Toy Suppliers In The Dark.
I personally did my own investigation. I contacted a certain craft toy supplier, distributing a product that consisted of plastic shapes that you fill in with paint. I asked them if they knew what type of plastic and paints were being used and if they could give me the ingredients list. The answers were not forthcoming, as basically, this toy distributor admitted that they had no clue about the ingredients and materials used. All he could tell me was that the toy met all the safety standards and regulations.
It is important to understand that different countries have different standards, with Europe leading the way in toy safety and even they are not perfect. It really is up to individual parents to do the research and protect their own families.
Some Countries Are Ahead Of Others When It Comes To Toy Safety
Europe as always is ahead of the Western World when it comes to toy safety from this article Dangerous Toys No Longer Child’s Play on July 20th 2011 they issued a new set of rules in regards to toy safety.
Have a quick look at this article from CIRS about Phthalates in toys, they clearly admit there are potential health hazards from children mouthing PVC toys that contain phthalates. But instead a banning completely, the use of phthalates in toy production, especially in baby toys, they have accepted a lower percentage of these phthalates to be present in the toys. Our stance at Living Safe is, don’t wait for the governments to act or discover there is something wrong with a toy line, instead play it safe and just choose a healthier option, e.g choose alternatives to PVC toys. It is easy to do as there are now, so many safer alternatives.
Amazingly it was not so long ago that some of the best known brands of children’s crayons were found to be contaminated with asbestos. See here.
You may also want to read my enlightening article PVC Plastic toys and Why Children Should Not Play With Them.
How To Protect Your Children From Dangerous Toys
Generally the rule of thumb is to stick to more natural and environmental companies.
- If your are at all uncertain of a toy’s safety and you are unable to get an answer from the manufacturer about the ingredients and materials, then I advise you to err on the side of caution and choose not to give that toy to your child.
- Nowadays there are plenty of ethical toy manufactures that produce great, safe, toys and craft products that are made from natural, non-toxic and eco-friendly materials, e.g EnviroBlox and Happy Mais are great craft toys made from corn starch and food colourings, that you can stick together with water, cut into shapes and even paint with.
- Be mindful when shopping. Choose the stainless steel, play-kitchen, utensils set, as opposed to cheap plastic ones.
- Make sure that kids jewellery and toys are all Lead, Cadmium, Nickel and PVC free. Healthy Canadians have a great article on recognizing Lead in children’s jewellery, click here
- Alternatively, have some good, clean, fun, see Natural & Saft Art & Craft Recipes for Kids
- For children’s play makeup, I recommend choosing pure, nano-particle free, mineral makeup eyeshadows and lip-glosses to play with.