7 Tips for Choosing Greener and Safer Toys

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As a parent, it’s your job to make sure that your child has a safe upbringing; especially during the vulnerable, formative years. Although you’ve probably had to child-proof the house, to stop the little ones tumbling down the stairs or getting under the sink, have you taken a moment to consider which toys your kids are playing with? Some of them can be a toxic nightmare because of the materials used in production.

To play it safe, follow these tips to choosing safer and greener toys for your children:

 

Natural Materials

It’s amazing how many toys are now made with synthetic materials. Stick to the basics: wood, cotton, wool, and felt. Going natural means that your child is less likely to come into contact with harmful materials.

Always read the label and check which resources the toy is made from.

 

Anti-Materialist

You don’t need to shower your children with toys. Not only will that spoil them, but it’s completely unnecessary. Let them rely on their imagination to come up with toys and fun games. You can make fantastic things out of recyclable materials, such as cardboard boxes and bubble wrap. Buy fewer toys and re-purpose what you can. The less your children have, the more likely they are to get creative.

 

Durability

It’s always worth paying that bit extra to get a high-quality toy that will last. Once your child has grown out of it, it can then be passed down to younger children. If you decide to sell it, you’re likely to get a good price. Children test a toy’s durability…to the extreme. Make sure it’s up to the task. The last thing you want to do is fork out for repeated replacements.

 

Buy Local

If there are any small shops in your area that hand-make children’s toys, buy something from them and reduce air miles! It’s always good to support small businesses in your area.

 

Avoid Plastic

This is nigh-on impossible in this day and age, but try to avoid plastic where you can. If you do buy something made of plastic, make sure that it’s labelled with a #2, #4, or #5. If your child is young, he or she WILL put the toy in their mouth. Always play it safe and stick with toys that can do no harm.

 

Do Not Buy Cheap Jewellery and Cosmetics

Your children may think make-up and jewellery are super grown-up, but avoid any cheap cosmetics for kids, as they are made from some of the worst materials you can find that are aimed at kids. Let them be children and actively dissuade them from cosmetics at this age. Instead, bribe them with a little bit of your own palettes or lipstick, if you have any, as a one-off treat.

 

Sign Up For Recall Alerts

Check regularly on recalls.gov, to stay aware of any products that are unsafe for use. If something you own crops up, immediately remove the toy from your child and look for a new, safe replacement.

 


This post has been contributed by specialist sports surfacing company Playrite. Looking for safe play surfaces for your children? Visit the site to find out more. 

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Greener Ideal is an independent environmental news and lifestyle publication that has been curating content since 2008 to further the green movement. The views expressed by contributing authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.