How to Choose Plastic Toys for Kids?

Plastic Toys for Kids?

How many times have you seen your child chew plastic toys that they just picked up from the floor? Well, multiple times a day would be our guess. Thus, it is important that the toys that we buy for our kids are safe and non toxic. Never compromise on the quality and safety standards of the toys especially for younger kids who tend to ‘taste ‘every little or big thing they can lay their tiny fingers on.

Plastic is usually the main culprit when it comes to use of unsafe chemicals in toys, mainly because it is the majority component.  So, in this post, we are going to take a look at what sort of plastics you should avoid while buying toys for kids. Imagine if one day we could substitute plastic with a natural product that is just as safe as it is strong. But until then here we go.

  1. No PVC.

PVC is a BIG NO. Do not buy toy made of polyvinyl chloride. PVC contains certain chemicals which can leach out of the plastic and cause developmental disorders in kids. PVC is a harmful plastic that causes pollutants right from the time it gets manufactured. When the genesis is bad the final product can’t be good. Certain stabilizers like lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury used in manufacturing PVC are toxic and can leak out of the plastic.

The solution to the PVC problem is quite easy. Only buy plastic toys online that are marked as PVC free. But in some categories of toys PVC is present in some form or the other. In such cases try to find alternatives such as polyethylene or other safer plastics.

  1. Polycarbonate plastic

You may have heard about it a few years ago in the context of BPA and related hard plastics phased in when BPA fell out of favour. Polycarbonate plastics were slowly phased in at that time. Recent research findings suggest that this type of plastic contain estrogenic chemicals harmful for the kids. So please avoid BPA and Polycarbonate plastic toys.

  1. Do not use polyurethane foam, instead try alternatives

Avoid stuffed toys made with PU foam since it contains dangerous flame retardant chemicals. Instead, prefer toys that are stuffed with alternatives like down, cotton, polyster or wool.

  1. Read about different grades of plastics

There are seven different grades of plastics out of which number 2,4 and 5 are considered safe. These are

  1. High-Density Polyethylene

    (Plastic number 2) – High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. HDPE is hard, opaque and can withstand somewhat high temperatures.

  2. Low-density polyethylene 

    (Plastic number 4) – Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a thermoplastic made from petroleum. It can be found translucent or opaque. It is flexible and tough but breakable.

  3. Polypropylene

    (Plastic number 5) – Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer. It is strong, tough, has a high resistance to heat and acts as a barrier to moisture.

  4. Try and avoid plastic toys as much as you can

While no one can deny the popularity of plastic toys, Alternatives are always available. Read our post about open ended toys. So explore toys that are free from plastic and explore toys made of wood, bamboo, hemp or cotton. Finally, if you have to gift a toy consider gifting a book that will last much longer than the latest action figure.

We hope these tips will make you better informed while buying plastic toys for your kids.

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