The earliest toys date from 3000 years BC and they were made from natural materials such as wood, clay, stone and sticks. Generally speaking, toys are very important part of growing up. Toys help children discover their identity and explore relationships. It goes without saying that toys are highly beneficial for child’s development. However, is every toy good for your child? You will find that out if you stay with us.
Wooden toys are more durable. They build imagination in your child and help him/her solve problem solving activities. Wooden toys are safer. But, most importantly, wooden toys have more health benefits than plastic toys.
Wooden toys are non-toxic
Wood is a natural material. This is of utmost importance for young children who tend to put toys in their mouth. There are no chemicals in wooden toys. The best option is to buy unpainted wooden toys. You can even paint them yourself. If you opt for painted ones, there are a variety of manufacturers which use non-toxic paint or finish. Additionally, some wooden toys manufacturers use beeswax wood polish. Water based paint is what you are looking for on the label.
Health hazards of plastic toys
Certain plastics contain toxic chemicals which pose various health hazards. Young children are particularly vulnerable to toxic chemicals because they are still developing. Their immune system is weak compared to the immune system of adults.
Some chemicals found in plastic toys are phthalates, bisphenol A, styrene, chlorine and lead.
Phthalates are chemicals used for softening and increasing flexibility of plastic and they are found in soft plastics. Children may be exposed to phthalates by chewing plastic toys. Phthalates are anticipated to be a human carcinogen. High level of phthalates may affect human development and reproduction. Furthermore, these chemicals are found to be endocrine disruptors. This means that this chemical may interfere with the production of hormones in your organism.
Bisphenol A is a chemical used to make hard plastics. As is the case with phthalates, bisphenol A is another endocrine disruptor. According to National Toxicology Program, bisphenol A can have a negative impact on human development. Plastic toys which contain bisphenol A have a #7 recycling symbol on them or contain the letters “PC” near the recycling symbol.
Styrene is used for making polystyrene. Products that contain polystyrene are paints and coatings. This chemical is linked to leukemia and lymphoma. Styrene can have a considerable negative influence on the central nervous system. Exposure to styrene may cause asthma, nausea, abdominal pain and stomach affects.
Even though chlorine is a natural element, PVC (polyvinyl chloride from which plastic toys are usually made) contains high levels of chlorine. According to studies, exposure to high levels of chlorine may cause the development of asthma.
Lead is found in paint and plastic. Lead is anticipated to be a human carcinogen since it is linked to lung, stomach and bladder cancer. Repeated low levels of lead can have a negative impact on child’s mental and physical development resulting in learning and behavioural problems.
As you can see, plastic toys may pose serious health hazards to your child. On the other hand, wooden toys are made from natural material and they do not contain toxic chemicals.