Is it Safe to Play with Old Toys?

Staying away from old toys is the best way to ensure your child's safety. Learn more about why old toys can be dangerous and how you can protect your kids.

Is it Safe to Play with Old Toys?

Staying away from old toys, even second-hand toys from friends and family, is the best way to ensure your child's safety. These toys may have sentimental value and be less expensive, but they may not meet current safety regulations and may be so worn out by the game that they can break and become dangerous. Letting children play with second-hand plastic toys could pose a health risk. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg tested a large number of old toys and clothing items made of plastic, and found that 84 percent of them contained toxins that can alter children's growth, development, and reproductive capacity.

These toxins are an obstacle to the circular economy of the future, which involves reuse and recycling. Many children receive toys and toy jewelry as gifts during the holiday season. Unfortunately, some toys, especially imported toys, old toys, and toy jewelry, may contain lead. Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell, but exposure to it can seriously harm a child's health.

Young children tend to put their hands, toys, or other objects (which may be made of lead or be contaminated with lead or lead dust) in their mouths. If you have a young child in your home, make sure that they don't have access to toys, jewelry, or other items that may contain lead. The EU Toy Safety Directive has set the allowable limit for phthalates used in new toys at 0.1 percent by weight, while for short-chain chlorinated paraffins, it is 0.15 percent by weight. EU legislation on the chemical content of toys also regulates the permitted quantities of a number of chemicals found in toys in order to protect the health and safety of children.

The Indian authorities have made it mandatory for imported toys to meet safety standards; however, it is still voluntary for domestic toy manufacturers. To make sure that your child's toys are safe, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of recalled toys. As parents, you can protect your children from these chemicals on some levels by choosing safe toys for them and paying attention to the items they come into contact with.

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