But how do you know if the things your child treasures most are safe? Katrina invited Kate Winnebeck from the NY Pollution Prevention Institute to my house to find. "These toys here are organic cotton and died with vegetable based inks, said Kate. "So we don't have chemicals you might find in other plush toys." She says to look for washable plush toys and avoid man made materials. "It says it's made from polyerethene foam and the exterior is pvc. So i would stay away from something labeled pvc or vinyl."
She says it's also important to keep a clean house because chemicals can stick around in dust particles and don't forget about the toys. "Washing things frequently also helps. That's a simple thing parents can do." "You want to choose better toys for this age when kids are really putting things in their mouths."
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is hosting workshops for parents throughout our area. Recently, one was held at the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. "really having an opportunity to educate parents, moms, new moms when it comes to their little ones how to be better prepared make good decisions when it comes to products for little ones."
Amy Weetman is a breast cancer survivor with three children. She says the cancer made her want to become more educated so she can protect her kids, ""I just think about ways we can reduce exposure and i think what's really hard is that products are out there and we have to pick and choose. It would be so much easier if everything was good for us." Winnebeck says in the past few years more restrictions have been placed on lead and phalates in toys but there is still a long way to go and it's up to parents to be vigilant, ""people are really surprised at the big name brand toys and the chemicals that are being found in them."
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