Is Plastic Safe For Your Baby?
Plastics are awesome. They don’t rust – ever, they don’t perish, and most importantly – they can be molded into just about anything imaginable. But the convenience of plastic items doesn’t come without a cost to our health and environment.
Have you ever been bewildered by the mountains of plastic toys and accessories for babies on the market? Do you find yourself wondering whether it is safe for your newborn to chew on a teething toy that contains harmful chemicals? Is it worth paying more for “green” utensils and toys?
Plastic products are everywhere these days. Each day we consume microplastics in the form of food, beverage containers, personal care products, and even inhalation. In fact, many of us don’t even realize just how much plastic we eat, drink, and breathe every day. No wonder scientists are worried about the effects this could have on our health!
So, is plastic safe for your little one?
Whenever you’re wondering if a product is safe for kids, it’s always best to ask yourself “what kind of material is this made from?” While that is a great starting place, there are no hard and fast rules. If a product isn’t labeled as BPA-free for example, you need to look a little further and ask “what else could be harmful in here?” plastics have a dark side that deserves more attention.
BPA is an abbreviation we often see these days. It’s a chemical compound that is used as a plasticizer and therefore widespread in manufacturing baby bottles, water bottles, school & sports gear, toys, etc. Despite the fact that some countries have started to ban the use of BPA in products for children in the past, it still remains quite widespread.
Alternatives to plastic toys and utensils
Toys and baby utensils made from plastic can expose your child to harmful chemicals that leach from the toys into the mouth. There are several alternatives to plastic baby toys and utensils that parents and caregivers can use without worrying about exposing their babies to harmful chemicals.
Utensils & cutlery: Wooden or bamboo spoons and forks are a good alternative to plastic toddler utensils. These are biodegradable materials, so you don't have to worry about it leaching chemicals into anything your toddler eats or plays with. Silicone is another great alternative. It is non-toxic and much safer than plastics. You can find silicone spoons at most baby stores and even at some grocery stores.
Toys: Hardwood toys have been around for centuries because they're sturdy, nontoxic and eco-friendly. Even though soft woods like pine and spruce aren't as hardy as maple or oak, they're still a good alternative — just make sure to avoid any that have been painted with chemical varnishes