Jewellery is a playtime staple, but it’s more dangerous than you think. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe, mama.
Have you seen those pictures of the sippy cups loaded with disgusting mold that’ve been going around, mama?
Parents everywhere are shuddering and feeling heartbroken over the images of the toxic inside of a child’s cup. The photos are disturbing for many reasons, but many people were caught completely unaware that a seemingly innocent and harmless product could be harboring a dangerous secret. With that in mind, it causes many of us to wonder what other children’s products are potentially harming our kids’ health?
Just like the sippy cup, our houses are filled with hidden health risks. I’d like to particularly focus on the shocking materials often used in the manufacturing of children’s jewellery. Surprisingly, strangulation and choking might not be the only potential problem associated with the bling our children wear every day.
Jewellery and Children: Shocking Health Risks
Just within the past few years, over 180 million pieces of children’s jewellery were recalled due to heavy metals being used to create these products. Yes. Heavy metals like lead, antimony, barium, cadmium, and nickel are frequently found in metals and paint used on children’s jewellery. Unfortunately for our kids, these aren’t hair bands left over from the ‘80’s trying to make a musical comeback. No, these are the highly toxic elements that can cause developmental delays and lead to serious health issues.
To compound these issues, recent testing on children’s jewellery sold in Wal-mart found that 25 percent of their inventory had high levels of lead. Now you are probably asking yourself what we consider high levels. Take a moment to brace yourself for this unknown tidbit: they found 300 times the recommended amount of lead. 300!
In other words, a majority of the pieces were more than one-third lead! This would put the amount of lead at around 7,700 ppm (parts per million). Now compare those numbers to a recent lead water scandal in the United States and one in Hong Kong. A majority of the water samples showed 10 to 30 times the EPA recommended amount of lead. Clearly, this level of heavy metals in jewelry is unacceptable.
In addition, many children develop contact dermatitis or allergies to jewellery that contains heavy metals. This occurs when manufacturers supplement products with cheaper metals like nickel to bring down costs. This can cause red rashes, blisters, and painful skin conditions to develop on a child’s sensitive flesh.
Besides metals, children’s jewellery often contains small button batteries and magnetic clasps. The blinking and flashing baubles are great souvenirs from the circus, but if those batteries become ingested they can severely burn a child’s internal organs. Magnetic pieces can also cause serious internal injuries if more than one would happen to be swallowed.
Jewelry Safety For Modern Parents
Realizing that our children have access to toxic products is shocking. Especially when our sons and daughters have close contact with necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings on a daily basis — sometimes even putting these objects in their mouths. It is only made worse when we understand that innocent products like sippy cups and children’s jewellery can threaten their health and overall wellbeing.
Unfortunately, identifying alarming products is not easy. It’s practically impossible to detect toxic jewellery with the naked eye or without channelling our inner Nancy Drew. Thankfully, we can safeguard our children from hidden jewellery dangers.
Seven practical ways to protect our little ones from jewellery dangers
- Avoid jewellery that uses batteries or magnets for young children.
- Remove older jewellery pieces from toy or jewellery boxes. It’s hard to know if they meet today’s safety standards!
- Limit access to costume jewellery. These pieces might also contain dangerous materials not suitable for kids.
- Periodically visit the Controlled Goods Website for a list of recalled items.
- Frequently have children wash up after handling cheaper jewellery.
- Stop buying cheap metal jewelry under $10 that comes from China. Yes, it’s a generalisation, but typically jewellery that meets these two requirements are the worst offenders.
- Seek children’s jewellery from reliable businesses. A few local jewellery lines with safe products include Silibeads, Bambeado and Peachtree.