Hello all! Are you confused about choosing the safest toys for your kids? There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting a toy for your kids. There are different colors, sizes and most importantly, the material. You would want something that isn’t easily breakable, long lasting, engaging with all their senses while being perfectly safe be it soft toys or plastic toys.
Check out the list of dangerous toys that must be immediately banned in India so that you can be assured of getting the safest soft toys vs plastic toys.
The most common and easily available toys are plastic toys and soft toys. They are bright, colorful, easy
to hold and play with. They also come with numerous sounds and bright lights. I, as a mom have also been caught up in the confusion of soft toys vs plastic toys. So I have bought and gifted both plastic and soft toys for my kids and others. But I happened to notice that all the toys are not very safe for them.
Many people today are of the opinion that soft toys are better than plastic toys. But not all soft toys are
safe and not all plastic toys are unsafe. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. So, let’s look
at the facts on soft toys vs plastic toys and make the right choices for us kids.
Plastic toys and their types
Plastics have become an integral part of our lives and they are used in toys too. Starting from balls,
dolls, medical set to remote controlled cars, everything falls under the category of plastic toys. Popular
brands like Barbie to Lego use plastics for their toys.
Plastic toys find their place right from the crib. The colourful crib mobiles as well as the rattles capture
the baby’s attention. Its fun to watch them play with it and it keeps them engaged. It also increases their curiosity towards holding things.
Kids love to watch and play with toys that move around with colorful lights and music. Battery operated
plastic toys would be a perfect toy for most kids. For those kids who like to build things, assembling
plastic toys come in handy. There’s a toy for every kid and almost all of them contain plastic. So, let’s
look into the most important problem with plastic toys now along with their pros.
- Available in colorful and attractive designs
- Most of the toys are long lasting
- Flexible and are not easily breakable
- Made of harmful chemicals
- Gives pungent odor and causes irritability
- Colors fade away easily
Why are plastic toys dangerous?
Most plastic toys are made of a combination of a few toxic chemicals that could be dangerous for
children. The toxins can leach out from the toy when the babies put them in their mouths. These
chemicals are even used in teething rings and squeeze toys. That’s why it becomes important to look out
for these toxins in the toys.
Polyvinyl Chloride is often used in plastic toys because it is not easily breakable, durable, and easy to
clean. It is used to make the toys soft and flexible. The phthalates and BPA in the PVC is what makes it
harmful for kids. These are industrial chemicals that can cause asthma, behavioural issues, hormonal imbalance and even cancer.
Other toxic materials like lead and cadmium are also present in most plastic toys. They can cause kidney
damage and bring about other health issues too. Let us see how we can avoid these toxic chemicals in
our kids’ toys.
What are safe plastic toys?
In 1999 the European Union had banned phthalates in soft PVC teething toys. Following this, a lot of
European countries have implemented it. Countries like Japan and the US are also working towards
A lot of companies and manufactures all over the world are looking into the harmful effects of the
chemicals and they are creating harm free and safe plastic toys. They are using polypropylene instead of
PVC to create safe toys.
One of the safest forms of plastics for children is found to be polypropylene. It is heat resistant and
does not release any odor or toxins even when it is exposed to warm or hot water. Thus, it is being used
in bath toys, teething toys and other such plastic toys for infants.
In detail, you can learn more about food grade silicone i.e., safe plastic that makes are in teethers and pacifiers here!
Tips to choose the safest plastic toys:
Imagine giving your kids all these toxic materials unknowingly. That is why I have listed the easiest and quickest ways to find the best and safe toy down below.
- 100% PVC free labeled toys so that the plastic does not contain any potentially dangerous phthalates.
- Any BPA and phthalate free plastic toy is a safe toy for your kids.
- Go for polypropylene based toys particularly for toddlers and infants.
I’ll suggest an example for a phthalate and BPA free toy that is completely safe for infants here.
Having pointed out how to choose the safest plastic toy, let us dive into the second part of soft toys vs plastic toys.
Soft toys and their types
Most of us can remember our first soft toy and how closely we cherished it. They become a source of comfort and warmth even as we age. It reduces our anxiety and provides a sense of safety.
Soft toys are an excellent tool for children who love pretend plays. Most children love making up stories and scenarios using their soft toys. This develops their communication skills, imagination as well as brings out their care and compassion. Musical soft toys also improve their cognitive abilities.
Recently, I happened to look at the labels in my one of my kid’s favorite teddy and noticed that there were a lot of chemicals listed that I was not familiar with. So, I looked into it in-depth and found a lot of shocking things. That’s when I decided to analyse the pros and cons of soft toys.
- They last for many years.
- Improves a lot of skills
- It’s a source of comfort and warmth.
- Detachable parts are a choking hazard.
- Long furs can cause breathing issues
- Toxic materials can cause many problems.
To know more about the benefits of musical soft toys and to get ones of higher quality, click here!
The most common and popular soft toy is the teddy bear. It comes in all sizes and colours. These days the panda bears are also equally popular and sought for. Apart from cute animals and birds there are also soft toys that are based on cartoon characters.
These days soft toys also come in the form of pillows with different shapes. There are clouds, Moon, unicorns and emojis to names a few. Another popular soft toy is the plushie balls. They come in different sizes depending on the age of the kids and some of them even have rattle sounds.
Now let’s look into the safety of the soft toys as well as the things to check before buying a soft toy.
Check out our soft toys for Shinchan loving kids for more details.
Are soft toys completely safe?
Though soft toys don’t have any sharp and rough edges like some plastic toys, it is not completely safe. The hard plastics used for the eyes and nose could become a choking hazard especially among toddlers. The plastics could also contain phthalates and they might have lead paints.
Apart from that, the furs used in many soft toys could cause allergies. It may even lead to asthma in kids. Another concern is the petroleum based dyes that are used in these toys. The flame retardants that are used in these toys have shown to bring about neuro developmental problems and even cancer.
Polyurethane foam stuffed toys and polyester foam stuffed toys release significant amount of toxic compounds that are harmful to children as well as the environment.
Safe soft toys
There is an increasing awareness on the health impacts of the soft toys. A number of manufactures are now being conscious about the safety of the product. They are giving up on synthetic fabrics, toxic dyes and plastic parts. They are also cutting down on the flame retardants.
Organic Soft toys
One of the easiest ways to select the safest soft toy is by looking for organic soft toys. They are mostly made out of cotton instead of furs thereby reducing the choking hazards. Most organic toys also have cotton filling inside so even if they spill out it won’t be dangerous. Cotton toys are easily washable and it reduces the risk of allergens too. But even in organic soft toys, it is important to look for ones with non detachable plastic parts.
Waiting to buy organic soft toys for your kids? For a detailed list of the 14 best organic soft toys, check here.
In short, these are the tips to choose the safest soft toys among the sea of toxic ones.
- Look for natural Fabrics like organic cotton, wool, and hemp for they are safer and more sustainable.
- Go for natural dyes and colors especially water based and earth based fabric dyes.
- Toys filled with polyester, wool or cotton. These materials are less likely to contain flame retardants.
- Washable materials so that it can reduce allergens.
- Shorter and lesser furs especially in teddy bears.
- Embroidered eyes and nose.
- Non detachable parts.
I have hand picked one of the safest soft toys to show as an example so that you can choose accordingly.
Soft toys vs Plastic toys – Comparison
Be it any type of material, soft toys vs plastic toys, it falls upon us to make sure that we select the safest toys for our little ones. However, when choosing between the safest soft toys and plastic toys, the main thing to consider is how much our children love them along with how much it would improve their skills. There are pros and cons for both the materials but we can choose the safest from each using the table below.
Soft toys vs Plastic toys
2) A lot of options to choose from.
3) Does not break into pieces easily.
2) Kids might get bored with it quickly.
2) Lasts for a longer period of time.
3) Easy to play with.
2) Bad quality soft toys cause diseases like asthma in kids.
I hope that the article helped you to lookout for the harmful toxic substances that are used in soft toys and plastic toys and select the safest toy for your child. Let them cherish their childhood with the best toys out there. This is an unbiased review particularly to help you find the best and safest soft toys vs plastic toys for your needs. Make your child’s learning fun and interesting!
It is important to help your children with their language skills at the earliest. One such toy that does the job are the talking books. We’ve tested and listed the best talking books here!