Cutting out toxic things in our life – it can be hard, right? Typically we find what’s bad for us to be convenient, requiring little thinking or effort. After all, it's easy sticking to what you know. The ugly truth is that comfort and convenience come at a cost – and while subjecting yourself to toxic things and people may only affect you, it’s a completely different ballgame when it comes to our little ones.
We avoid questions we don’t want the answers to. It’s human nature. But it’s time we start confronting some uncomfortable truths. What’s really in the plastic toys we let our children play with? What long-term effects is it having on them?
Before you scare yourself into a parent-shaming spiral, know we’ve been there too. As we adjusted to life with a newborn, we started asking ourselves these very questions – a string of inquiries that eventually led to the creation of PlayWilder. We knew if we wanted non-toxic toys that were actually good for our children, we’d have to make them ourselves.
So, what are some red flags to look for when shopping for children’s toys?
🚩Lead and Plastic 🚩
Perhaps the #1 red flag to look for is the presence of lead in toys. While the use of lead was banned in the late 70s, it has yet to be regulated for plastic toys. More bad news: 90% of toys in the U.S. are made of plastic. According to the CDC, lead allows plastic to bend and return to its normal shape. However, if it makes contact with the sun or air, the barrier between the lead and plastic is compromised (if you’re familiar with air, you know we breathe it in and out constantly). Since lead has been linked to nerve damage, behavioral and learning problems, and in severe cases – brain damage – this makes plastic toys a huge red flag to keep in mind.
On its face, flame retardants may sound like a good thing (many red flags tend to camouflage as green). Intended to keep materials from catching fire, flame retardants can actually omit a slew of harmful chemicals. Substances like Bromine, Chlorine, and Phosphorous are commonly found in flame retardants and have been found to disrupt hormones and hinder development.
🚩Toys Manufactured Outside of the U.S.🚩
PlayWilder is proud to produce the best non-toxic toys in the USA! However, this specific red flag makes the list for reasons beyond our patriotism. Unfortunately, many international toy manufacturers are not required to follow the same guidelines and restrictions for plastic toys as those in the U.S. Even with wood toys, there is still a high probability that lead paint will be used in production. Though it’s banned in the states, other countries are still using it in their painted toys (in addition to other harmful materials).
PlayWilder Can Help
You can’t control what goes into your children’s toys. But you can shop smarter. PlayWilder offers a variety of non-toxic toys and Montessori climbing toys that are high-quality and American-made. While other major manufacturers are producing plastic toys that can actually stunt your child’s developmental health, our Large Foldable Triangle can be a catalyst for motor skills, balance, and creativity. We’ve seen enough red flags – it’s time to cut this toxic relationship off. When you purchase PlayWilder, you’re purchasing peace of mind. Shop our selection of non-toxic, wood toys here.