Should I be concerned about buying safer toys for young children?
Toys, meant to entertain our children, can sometimes be harmful. The top six common toy hazards listed by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (external link) are choking, magnets, batteries, noise, strangulation and toxic chemicals.
Babies and children are especially vulnerable to chemical exposure because they are developing rapidly.
Basic toy standards – United States
Chemical safety standards in the United States limit the amount of eight metals that may be in toys including lead, mercury, and cadmium as well as phthalates (plastic softeners, external link). If toys are found to exceed these standards, they may be recalled (external link). Some types of toys are particularly suspect. Avoid cheap metal jewelry, as it can contain lead and cadmium (external link).
Safer toys – international
These international symbols on toys indicate a higher chemical safety standard than U.S. standards.
For example – Which toy is safer for children because of more stringent chemical safety standards?
Companies producing safer toys (external links)
Rich Frog carries organic soft toys and baby items made in the USA. Their manufacturing practices meet U.S. and European safety standards.
HABA makes wooden toys, board games, jewelry and more. This German company meets U.S. and European toy safety standards.
PlanToys make wooden toys and games for babies through early elementary. View their manufacturing standards which meet US and European toy safety standards.
Apple Park is a U.S. maker of organic soft toys.
Under the Nile is a U.S. maker of organic soft toys and other baby items.
Green Toys manufactures toys in the US without phthalates or BPA
Search a toy database
HealthyStuff.org tested thousands of toys for lead, cadmium, mercury and more.