Do you worry about harmful chemicals in the environment hurting your child’s development?
You're not alone. Like the majority of most parents, you ultimately answered “yes” to this question. Raising children today requires us to be eco-conscious for their ultimate well being and the future of our planet. We take measures to ensure our children have access to organic foods, green environments, and chemical free alternatives.
In a world that values clean living and whole foods, we might be overlooking a surprising danger lurking in our homes: our children’s jewelry.
New Concerns About Jewelry Safety
Kids love dressing up, whether for play or to look like a favorite adult, and testing on childrens' jewelry pieces have shown that toxic and harmful substances are often used to make the bling our children beg and plead for. Within the last few years a disturbing trend has come to light in regards to the children’s jewelry market. In fact, there have been over 180 million pieces of jewelry recalled that had been intended for children.
When we think about children’s jewelry, we are typically concerned with the obvious problem of strangulation or choking - not the materials used to manufacture our child’s favorite jewels.
Listed below are four ways jewelry intended for our kids can potentially be dangerous:
- Allergies can surface when jewelry contains high levels of nickel or other metals. Manufacturers often add “filler” metals to reduce costs. This might be great for their bottom line, but leaves many children seeing red. Red blisters, rashes, and contact dermatitis are common hazards encountered when children wear this cheap jewelry.
- Toxic metals (such as lead, antimony, barium, and cadmium) are commonly found in children’s jewelry. Yes, you read that correctly. Heavy metals that are known to cause development delays and health problems have been identified in these products intended for our sons and daughters. We need to consider the fact that one quarter of children’s jewelry tested from Wal-mart was found to have more than 300 times an acceptable amount of lead.
- The flashing and blinking types of children’s jewelry often contain small button batteries. These favored souvenirs from the circus, theme park, fair, birthday party, or outing to the store can be deadly if a child manages to swallow the small battery.
- Magnets are often used for easy-to-use clasps. While magnets make jewelry easier to wear or remove, they can also cause serious internal damage if they become ingested. Jewelry breaks and children are notorious for putting small pieces in their mouths. If a child happens to swallow more than one magnet they are at risk for the pieces lodging internally and causing a lot of irreparable damage.
8 Jewelry Safety Tips For Parents
It’s a shocking realization that our children’s treasured trinkets can threaten their health and development. We need to take a serious look at this issue, because many of these necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings are often worn on a daily basis in multiple or triple sets. Unknowingly, parents have been allowing toxin laced jewelry unlimited contact with our precious one’s largest organ: their skin.
Whether the danger is hidden in the metal, plastic, or paint, it is important to consider how jewelry is often comprised of small pieces or sharp edges.
These pendants, clasps, chains, and gems can easily be placed in a child’s mouth or scratch the skin. Wayward jewelry bits can result in painful wounds or introduce foreign substances into our little ones’ bodies.
The problem for many adults is that identifying dangerous children’s jewelry is almost impossible by using just our eyes.
To safeguard our kids from these hidden dangers, please consider the following tips:
- Recycle older jewelry pieces hiding in toy or jewelry boxes due to the fact that they might not meet today’s safety standards.
- Encourage kids to frequently wash their hands after handling or wearing their jewelry.
- Avoid purchasing metal jewelry that costs less than $10 and is manufactured in China.
- Consider disallowing any jewelry with batteries or magnets for small children and toddlers.
- Be intentional with purchasing children’s jewelry from reliable and eco-friendly businesses that are committed to safety and non-toxic products.
- Remember, “quality over quantity”.
- Keep in mind that older costume jewelry might also be harboring hazardous materials and might not be suitable for young kids.
- Check the CPSC web site for recalled items.
Knowing the hazards of play jewelry can help you to make informed purchases that will please your little ones, while providing you with peace of mind.