(Please forgive my lack of posting for a few days. Our family was stricken with an awful intestinal bug. I’ve been down for the count and it hasn’t been pretty.)
Okay, readers, I know that despite your best intentions, some plastic from China has probably entered your house over the holiday. Maybe even painted wood toys that look good but were made in China. And your little one was rapturous, joyful and in love with the little toy that you have no idea if it is safe.
At least that is what happened in our house.
Just to give you an example, my daughters were given a few toys that are highly suspect, and one that is totally unsafe from loving, generous family members.
One present my youngest received contains lead (as listed by healthytoys.org). Another is from a company sued by the state of Vermont for a lead paint violation. And two music boxes are directly related (same toy, different animals) to one that was recalled for lead paint.
It is extremely difficult to extract such toys as the kids get older. Of course, my girls fell in love with them. I’m currently hiding the suspect toys until I can return or check them with a lead test kit. But my oldest is already asking where they are!
With this in mind, I offer some ideas about how to check your kid’s toys for safety if you are in the same boat I am.
*All children’s jewelry is highly suspect! Get rid of any jewelry that is not: sterling silver, ceramic beads, or gold. Children have died from acute lead poisoning in cheap trinket jewelry (see the lead link in the categories section for more information on this).
*If your girls received any children’s makeup, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Safe Cosmetic database. They’ve put together another great guide to safer cosmetics. Lisa at Enviroblog sums it up for busy, sleep deprived parents:
“Cosmetic ingredients to avoid:
DMDM hydantoin & Imidazolidinyl urea
Methylchloroisothiazolinone & Methylisothiazolinone
Fragrance and dyes
Parabens or -paraben
Triclosan & triclocarban
Cosmetic products to avoid:
Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids
Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene, and all dark permanent hair dyes
Liquid hand soaps with Triclosan, aka Antibacterial hand soaps
Nail polish & removers with fermaldehyde
Skin lighteners with hydraquinone”
*Buy a lead test kit at your local hardware store if you can’t find any information on healthtoys.org. This is what I will be doing on the suspect toys in our house. I know, they aren’t always accurate. But it’s the best I’ve got!