29 October 2008

Spooky Stuff

I’m still somewhat paranoid about poison plastic, especially since BabyGuy currently dedicates every waking minute to gnawing diligently on anything within his greedy grasp. All this talk of endocrine disruptors and estrogen-like compounds is enough to give a Boy Mom nightmares. For the sake of my future grandchildren (DV), I decided that ordering a couple wooden teethers was worth a try (though I’m sure he’ll still prefer old Tupperware lids, spatulas, and the doubtless toxic random pieces of his brothers’ toys that are lying about).

The inflammatory rhetoric surrounding plastic is rather difficult to wade through. For instance, I thought I’d heard that all pacifiers are now PVC/BPA-free, but then I’ll see statement advising caution in pacifier selection. Some teethers have “PVC-free” plastered all over them; but does that mean that all the rest are loaded with the stuff? I know that some toy manufacturers are voluntarily phasing out PVC in toys designated for kids 3 & under, but it seems unnecessarily difficult to pin down which and when. Sheesh. Someone’s always trying to influence me by playing on my relatively uninformed paranoia…rather appropriate for the run-up to next Tuesday, no?

So I’m interested in recommendations for safe/natural/organic/PVC- and BPA-free teething toys and/or classic, can’t-live-without-‘em natural/wooden toys for the slightly older kids.

Health concerns or no, one’s soul grows rather weary of all the cheap plastic junk, anyway. Anyone have any recommendations, or any inside scoops on the confusing plastics scenario?


Rebekah said...

And what can I use instead of that plastic thing in my microwave?

MooreMama said...

The MooreDaddy teethed on a silver dollar that had a hole drilled into it and a leather strap looped through.... (not quite sure how to sanitize it, but I should have some time to worry about it)

And I could be completely off base, but I thought that the danger was when the BPA-laden plastic was heated... I have Playtex drop-ins (which profess to be BPA free) for daycare when I go back to work, and the MooreDaddy has already started the wooden toy collection. Melissa and Doug makes some good, sturdy seeming ones.

Gauntlets said...

For the requisite chew toy, how about a damp washrag--frozen, not thawed?

And what about dirt? Is dirt OK? 'Cause we eat a lot of dirt around here.

And microwaves are killing us softly, regardless. Microwaves, Tang, and next Tuesday.

Anne said...

Here are a few places I go when relatives ask for Christmas lists:

Reb. Mary said...

Mooremama: Sanitize? What is sanitize? :)

Yes, temperature fluctuation is supposed to be make the plastic leaching worse, but according to Dr. Leonard Sax & the like, it's bad even at room temp. I still store leftovers in tupperware, but always microwave in corningware. Which probably has more background radiation or something than the plastic, but less BPA. Pick your poison...

Gauntlets: Leaves have been a popular snack around here lately. Crunchy! Dirt is just for extra flavor.

Anne: thanks for the links: I'll check 'em out. It is getting to be Christmas list season again, I suppose!

Pam said...

I vote for leaves, sticks, grass and dirt. Builds immunity. Besides which, the dose of fresh air more than cancels out whatever germs are ingested.

Oh, and did I mention kids can't "mess up" the outside the way they do the house?

Yeah, I know, ya'll northerners probably have snow comin' soon, not grass.

How about mud? We LOVE mud. Bought all the kids mud boots just so they could still play outside in the winter when it rains, rains, rains.

When they're older, try real stuff. Like hammer and nails and scraps of wood, mixing bowls and spoons and cookbooks. Large pieces of fabric to become capes, togas, and forts. Blankets to be draped over furniture to make a cave, or spread on the floor to be a lake in which to swim, couch cushions to be stacked to make a house.

But for now, the best suggestion (that was just given to me a few days ago)is a plastic shoebox or under the bed box with dry beans, rice, or dry pasta in it.

Ummmm, still too young for that? Choking, maybe. In that case, my kids love a large cardboard box, oatmeal boxes, wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils, which of course, make lots of fun noise when used to strike pots and pans. :)

Oh, and TREES. Imagine my freakedoutness when my little two year old girl (now five) was seen dangling in our dogwood with the "big kids." We have three more after her, so I was less shocked and fearful when others started that little, too.

I can't believe it took me this long to quit wasting my money on "toys."

Melanie said...

We got rid of our microwave (which we used at least a few times a day) because of some research I found in which food particles get so destroyed and manipulated in the process that they actually form new compounds that are poisonous. I thought not having one would be a huge ordeal, but we just got a pack of pyrex glass bowls from walmart and a toaster oven and just heat everything up in that...it maybe takes 10 min verses 2, but we can all use a little more patience, no?

Ive also heard plastic is mostly dangerous if it's heated, though it never hurts to stay away from it anyways...here are some great teethers:
They're pvc free, latex free, and lead free. (scroll down to "Chewey Tubes" and "P's and Q's") If you have a real little one, get the "Q" because the P has a longer stem that can gag a little one.
Anyhow, hope that helps!

Blogversary said...

My website of choice is www.greenmomfinds.com

Yes, I work for them, but they have lots of resources.

We are phasing out plastic toys for the nicer wood toys.

Glass works well in the microwave for reheating.

All our sippy cups/water bottles are stainless steel.

I have chosen to worry about it reasonably instead of frantically. I have not lost one minute of sleep over it.

johnqmercy said...

If it makes you feel any better, we're just starting to clean up the larger of the lead paint chips around here.