One day I came across an article discussing possible toxic poisoning from reusing mineral water bottles, as I turned to look at my daughter wilfully chomped on her toys alarm bells started to ring. If bottles purposely made as containers for water can be potentially toxic, perhaps there caution should also to be had in plastic toys for infants. Every mother knows that one of the first things their child do with a new toy is to grab it and chew. This made me want to find out exactly what is in the plastic toys and the risk it poses for my children.
I had initially consulted the parents’ Bible known as Mumsnet, yet my findings were more than disappointing. Not a single post discussed the issue of plastic toys safety on the contrary they are indulged mostly on discussing how wooden toys are more socially respectable than the plastic toys. I am thoroughly surprised by the severe lack of such an important health concern. So I decided to carry out my own research, from which I had found a mountain of information in relation to this.
Shamefully I felt guilty for not having considered this danger in advance. From my readings I discovered that there are an abundance of paediatricians who heavily opposed the use of vinyl/PVC in toys for young children because they produce carcinogenic (cancer-causing) dioxins, this was very discomforting! Furthermore I wanted to know that toys were recommended as safe for children, especially those who are teething. I had also learnt the grim fact that if the plastic is left either in direct sunlight or by a radiator, the heat may be enough to melt the plastic and release the harmful toxin within. All of this information I had gathered looked overwhelming for plastic toys to be extremely dangerous for children, yet there is such a low awareness in the general public, personally I believe the toy companies have kept things very quiet.
I know there are a few arguments against the use of wooden toys for children, such as the danger from accidentally ingesting the paint on the toys. But from what I have seen, this problem had since been addressed by the toy manufacturers and in the example of Mellisa & Doug toys where they have repeatedly tested their paints to make sure everything they use is nontoxic and safe for children. Not only praised for their care in product safety, Mellisa & Doug have many products dedicated to educating children as well as providing them with joy. Their product range extends from puzzles, building blocks, and pretend play, the possibilities for fun is endless.
Not only are the plastic toys dangerous for children, it is also very bad for the environment as plastic takes thousands of years to be degraded. As a caring and environmentally conscious mother, I cannot recommend wooden toys enough.