When toys and clothes for kids were made by hand from local, natural materials, few parents worried about the impact of those items on the health of their children. But today, with products being made around the world from a variety of materials, more parents are concerned about just what's in that teething ring, onesie jumper or favorite stuffed friend, especially with issues like the recent concerns about Bisphenol-A in plastics and lead in kids' toys.
Two websites that can help parents learn more about potentially harmful chemicals and other elements in children's toys and other products are Healthy Toys and The ZRecs Guide to Safer Children's Products.
Healthy Toys is the "consumer guide to toxic chemicals in toys." Its database includes information about more than 1,500 kids' toys and products. You can search products by brand, type, product code, or manufacturer. The site also offers a list of primary chemicals of concern, with information about the chemical, its health effects, and current regulations.
The ZRecs Guide to Safer Children's Products offers information about more than 1,000 products and 149 brands. You can browse by product type or brand. The listings for a product include a rating, confidence level, and any ingredients of concern.
Considering that the stick was recently inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame, parents might want to rethink the kinds of toys they're considering must-haves for their kids and explore how to spark creativity, imagination and enjoyment outside the current mainstream definition of "toy" and "fun."