There’s plastic everywhere we go, and for the most part, there is no need to worry in terms of their safety when used. However, if we are talking about the toys and gears used by children, we must take due prudence in looking into the toxicity of this material.
Here are few types of plastic that have been found to be dangerous:
PVC or polyvinyl chloride. The manufacture of this type of plastic produces dioxin, which is a serious carcinogen. While dioxin is a manufacturing byproduct, and not found in the plastic itself, it is still a environmentally sound choice to use PVC.
BPA or Bisphenol-A. This type of plastic is commonly used in toys, feeding bottles, and dental sealants, to name a few. Several studies have linked BPA to serious problems such as breast cancer, depression, and obesity.
Plasticizers. These materials have long been used in making toys soft and flexible. Their use has been restricted because the risk has not been excluded in studies. Plasticizers are particularly restricted in “any product intended to facilitate sleep, relaxation, hygiene, the feeding of children or sucking on the part of children.”
Lead. It is possible for plastic toys to contain lead, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says. Lead is also used to soften plastic, which, when exposed to high heat can leak out in a form of dust. This may then be inhaled and ingested by the child.
Safety standards have been improved since the massive lead toys recall in 2007, and it can be reassuring that products manufactured for children and infants are being closely regulated. However, it is really up to the parent to take the necessary precautions in making sure their children are safe from dangerous products. Here are some of the recommendations to make sure that your kid’s toys are safe:
- When you have no choice other than plastic toys, go for those tagged as PVC-free and BPA-free.
- Be updated on product recalls. Find the latest information on recalled products from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Do not hesitate to all or email manufacturers of your child’s toys to ensure that they comply to all safety standards.
- For teething or chewing, only give your child natural, uncoated wood or a frozen washcloth.
- Some plastic toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but it would be safer to read the manufacturer’s directions first. Another way to clean is to mix antibacterial soap and hot water in a spray bottle, then use it to clean the toys.
- Report unsafe toys to CPSC.
- If you doubt that a toy is safe, do not give it to your child.
Under product liability laws, you have the right to file a case against the manufacturer in case a product caused your child any harm. California has strict liability laws, which means that there is no need for you to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence based on manufacturing defect, design defect, or marketing defect.
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