What You Should Know About Children’s Jewelry
This article is reposted from Green Child Magazine with credit to author Amy Williams
Parents make choices to protect our children’s health from toxic chemicals all the time. We carefully weigh the pros and cons when it comes to organic foods, green cleaners, and eco friendly products. Naturally, we want only the best for our children and their health. Unfortunately, we may have overlooked a shocking health danger: children’s jewelry.
It’s easy to consider the obvious strangulation fears or possibility of jewelry catching on something, but we might not have even considered the materials manufacturers use to produce our children’s favorite bling. Surprisingly, many of the components used to create these treasures and trinkets are laced with harmful substances.
How Could Jewelry Be Dangerous to a Child’s Health?
Toxic Metals: Unknown to many parents, jewelry is often crafted with cheap heavy metals. High levels of lead, antimony, cadmium, and barium have been identified in a variety of jewelry products intended for our kids. In fact, recent testing found close to 25 percent of children’s jewelry from Wal-mart had more than 300 times the recommended amount of lead. In the United States there has been a recall of over 180 million pieces of children’s jewelry within recent years.
Allergies: Besides toxic metals, many manufacturers add metals to jewelry to reduce costs. Often they utilize nickel, but this can cause allergic reactions in a portion of the population. It’s not uncommon for uncomfortable contact dermatitis, rashes and bumps, to erupt on the skin’s surface where there is contact with jewelry.
Scratches: Wayward earrings, sharp edges, and even our wedding rings can scratch a child’s delicate skin. This can result in painful lacerations or even introduce foreign materials into a child’s body.
Magnetic pieces: Numerous jewelry pieces aimed at children often utilize magnetic closures. These items are easily worn, removed, and diminish the risk of strangulation. However, the magnetic pieces can be broken and easily swallowed. Even though they are small, they can be deadly! If a child swallows multiple magnets, they can stick together deep inside the bowels which can wreak havoc on a child’s body.
Tiny parts: Our children’s jewelry often has small pieces that can break apart. Small charms, pendants, chains, and clasps can easily choke a child or be ingested which introduces harmful substances into the body.
Button batteries: Flashing and blinking jewelry is a hit among our kids, but these novelties require batteries. Small button batteries pose serious health risks for children if they accidentally ingest them.
Ten Jewelry Safety Tips For Children
Whether it’s in the paint or metals, kids’ jewelry can pose serious health problems. They wear these items on their skin and occasionally put the pieces in their mouth. Unwittingly, we may have been exposing our babes to harmful substances all along, because it is difficult to identify dangerous jewelry just by looking at it.
To protect our children from harmful jewelry, we have compiled the following safety tips:
● Have your children wash their hands after wearing or playing with jewelry.
● Ditch metal jewelry from Chinese manufacturers that cost less than $10. Often these are the worst offenders for toxic jewelry.
● Remove jewelry before a child takes a nap.
● Purge toy and jewelry boxes for items that are older and might not meet the current safety recommendations.
● Avoid jewelry with batteries or at least ensure they are secure.
● Keep an eye on children playing or wearing jewelry, never leave them unattended.
● Ask questions of retailers before purchasing jewelry products for kids.
● Realize that costume or adult jewelry might pose similar health risks to children.
● Purchase from reliable and eco-conscious companies.
● Look for recalled items on the CPSC website.