Soft toys are an essential part of childhood. We all remember having a soft toy that we loved during our early years, which we did not seem to part with no matter how old it got. Some of us still have them packed safely in a corner of our cupboard, to reminisce the memories of our childhood. Now, it’s your kids who are making new memories with these cuddly soft toys.
It’s a known fact that kids love soft toys, owing to the bright colours and amusing features on them. Some kids love their soft toys so much they carry them everywhere, and even sleep with them. But did you know that these fluffy toys are a health risk to your child? Soft toys bring happiness on the outside but carry a lot of potentially harmful substances that can directly affect your child’s immune system and hamper child development in many cases. Let’s find out how toys can cause harm to your child’s health.
Toys are a major source of harmful chemicals and materials that either spread through direct touch or through the air, disrupting the healthy indoor air environment. Here are some of the substances used in toys that can cause harm to your child’s health:
Plasticisers: Plasticisers are used in toys in order to make them flexible, soft and safe. These are used to change any sharp edges and avoid fragility so that the toy doesn’t break easily and cause choking if ingested by mistake. Plasticisers contain a chemical substance called Phthalates, which can cause disruption in the hormonal system of your child and even affect child development.
Dyes and pigments: Dyes and pigments used in toys contain a chemical named Aniline, which is toxic in nature and cause health issues since a lot of infants and kids tend to put the toys in their mouth.
Wrinkle-resistant material: A lot of companies use wrinkle resistant products in the process of making toys, which includes many chemicals. One of these chemicals, Formaldehyde can cause hypersensitivity in kids, and create irritation in mucous membranes and skin.
Fire retardants: Used in almost every kind of toy, fire retardants contain chemical substances that are toxic enough to cause hormonal changes in kids.
Antibacterial agents: Also found in most toys, antibacterial agents consist of Triclosan, a chemical substance that can cause allergies.
How to take care of health risks caused by toys
A child is much sensitive in comparison to adults since they are still at an early development stage. This sensitivity also makes them prone to more diseases than an adult usually is. In such a scenario, exposing them to too many chemicals in the form of toys, through touch and in the air, could prove fatal. Your child not just plays with toys the entire day but also chews them, which gets the chemicals present in the toys inside their system faster. They are also mostly in a room full of toys, that have more chances of air pollutants in it than any other room in the house.
Keeping kids away from toys may not be the easiest solution to this problem, but it is important that we try solving it without taking the fun out of their lives. When it comes to the chemicals spread in the air by these toys, the best solution is to install an air purifier at home. There is a huge range of air purifiers available in the market that decreases the effects of air pollution in your home and makes it safe for your baby. In order to take care of the issues related to using toys and mistakenly ingesting the chemicals, you can try limiting the practice of buying too many toys for your kids. Using alternatives such as DIY homemade toys and inventing interesting games for them works well. You can also make it a habit for them to not carry a toy everywhere they go or sleep hugging a toy. Using the right solution at the right time without compromising on the fun factor can save your child from many health issues.