What’s on your kids’ holiday wish list this year?
From toys to electronics, there is a chance that whatever your kids are wishing for might include something you don’t want: toxic chemicals. 
You may not be aware that as part of the manufacturing process, some chemicals are added to toys to make them more durable or flame retardant. However, kids are exposed to these chemicals when they put the toys into their mouths. Babies are particularly vulnerable to environmental toxins since their biological systems are still developing. Therefore, it’s crucial to reduce kids’ exposure to chemicals not only during the holiday season but all year long. 
Here are some tips to help you find toxic-free gifts for your kids:  

Toys:  The best way to avoid toxic chemicals in toys is to choose items that are made from natural materials such as wood, stainless steel and organic cotton. In 2011, Health Canada proposed draft guidelines to keep cadmium out of children’s jewelry, but as this is a recent development, some products with cadmium may still be on shelves. For that reason we advise consumers to avoid kids jewelry items made of metal, which may contain the toxic substance.
 
Clothing:  If buying clothes for kids, it is best avoid items that are wrinkle and stain resistant. As well, avoid clothes that contain flame retardants (PBDEs) – especially in light of recent reports that found these chemicals not only to be ineffective but dangerous. Instead, choose clothes that are made from natural materials such as organic cotton. 
 
Electronics: From tablets to MP3 players, what kid nowadays doesn’t have something electronic on their wish list? When searching for electronic gifts, make sure to choose a manufacturer that has eliminated toxic flame retardants from their products. 
 
Bathroom Stuff: Many personal care products, even some for kids, contain toxic ingredients – some which have been linked to cancer, allergies and other health problems. Parents can find a list of the Toxic Ten chemicals to avoid in their kids’ personal care products by visiting  www.environmentaldefence.ca/toxicten. Companies like Ontario-based GreenBeaver make non-toxic products like bubble bath that are fun and safe for kids. 
 
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Wishing you a safe and toxic free holiday season!