It didn't take very long after Halloween for the gift-buying
frenzy to kick in! Too bad shopping for the holidays isn't always that
easy. When it comes to picking out the perfect present for our little
ones especially, there are always a million questions running through
our minds. Of course we want to make sure we get them something they'll
love -- and use -- but when we're flooded with recalls and research
about various, potentially hazardous materials used in toys, there's a whole other layer of worry. But it doesn't have to be super-stressful.
Here, five ways to avoid toxic materials when shopping for safe, eco-friendly toys ...
Check for recalls. A good first step when buying new toys is to check to make sure that the toy you’re buying hasn’t been recalled by the Consumer Products Safety Commission for any safety or health hazard. The CPSC will note any toys that could create potential choking or falling hazards.
Check for lead paint. Sadly, many toys are still manufactured with lead-based paint,
which was banned back in 1978. But the CPSC is supposed to act as a
watchdog for these toys, so checking on their website before hitting the
stores can help guide you in the right direction.
Be especially aware of bath toys. The potentially
harmful chemical PVC is often used in bath toys to make them more
flexible. However, you can find a list of some safe bath toys here.
When in doubt, go for wood. If you're concerned
about plastic, you can look for toys made out of wood, which are not
only naturally safer but should last longer to boot. Score! (One
example: My niece loves toys made by Melissa and Doug.)