Thursday, June 14, 2018

Non-Toxic Munchkin Approved: Fun and Safe Summer Essentials

Summer vacation is here which means that we have a long summer full of mostly sunny days that will hopefully be full of play, fun, a bit of travel or camps and memories in the making.

  All this free time entails a lot of planning on my (and most mom and/or dads) end, so the last thing we want to worry about are our kids being unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals and the very last thing we want to be doing is spending our summer researching safe fun products!

So here are some simple switches you can make to everyone's summer staples to make sure your summer is fun and healthy!

Instead of:   cheap plastic flip flops
  • Why:  Plastics used will probably expose you to endocrine disrupting phthalates, polyvinyl (PVC), lead and cadmium

Instead of :   cheap plastic sand toys

  • Why?  It is tempting to buy our kids cheap plastic beach toys since, let's face it, many of these get lost and have to be replaced every year. However, many of these plastic beach toys can contain BPA or similar endocrine disrupting chemicals. Add to that, long hours being exposed to sun and saltwater, and you have plastics that could be deteriorating and leaching some nasty chemicals into the air or, if you have little kids, into your children when they place these items in their mouths. Oh yeah, and they are bad for the planet since they will be around for hundreds of years - probably somewhere in our sea.
  • Switch to:   higher quality, eco friendly toys
  • I like:   Green Toys Sand Play Set is made entirely out of recycled milk jugs here in the U.S.A.
  • You can also recycle things around the house to use as and toys!

Instead of :  large plastic floats

  • Why: Ok, yes I know they are cute and I know they are fun to play with but almost everything that is meant to be fun and placed in the pool is made from PVC (usually listed as Vinyl- a known human carcinogen that can also expose you to lead, a known neurotoxin, and endocrine disrupting phthalates) (I mean, just smell one of these new floats and you know something is off!).   Even when the smell is no longer evident, the sun and chlorine can accelerate the leaching of toxic chemicals.
  • Switch to:  Pool noodles!   Noodle style pool toys are usually made from polyethylene foam, which is PVC-free and considered safe. 
  1. Swimways Noodle Knights Toy (Colors May Vary): another - super fun- take on the classic pool noodle!
  2. Each Aqua Rider noodle features an integrated foam character head and tail. Styles include Sea Turtle, Narwhal, Pink Flamingo, and Tiger Shark.

Instead of:  sprayed aerosol sunscreen
  • Why?  I know how convenient spray sunscreen can be when you have wiggly kids wanting to get away from you- however when you spray your sunscreen your kids run the risk of inhaling the chemicals in the sunscreen... this can be especially harmful considering the list of toxic chemicals in many conventional sunscreens (read more on our last blog BANNED IN HAWAII: IS THIS COMMON SUNSCREEN INGREDIENT IN YOUR FAVORITE SUNSCREEN? ) .  If you can smell it you are inhaling it too.  Additionally, spray sunscreen makes it really easy to miss areas and increases chances of burns
  •  Switch to:   safe, non-toxic cream sunscreen.   
  • I like:  
Thinksport Kid's Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+, 3oz

Instead of: a vinyl plastic wet bag

  • Why?  this essential can be found in many mom's beach bags to store wet suits and other stuff, however they are usually made of the same toxic PVC we have mentioned. 
  • Switch to:  Itzy Ritzy Tokidoki Travel Happens Medium Sealed Wet Bag, Mermicorno All Stars : if you have that wet bathing suit you need to bring home, make sure you don't go to any pool party without these non-toxic water proof bags. The interior is made of leak-proof polyurethane laminate lining (not to be confused with toxic polyuthrane foam )
Instead of:  plastic popsicle molds
  • Why?   Popsicles are a must have treat at my house in the summer- we make super tasty frozen treats with fruits that the kids love and help us all cool off, but many are made of plastic which could potentially be exposing you to endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • Switch to:  Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold  I love that these are made of non-toxic stainless steel - no plastics to worry about - this fast freeze mold is easy to use, easy to clean, and will last you a life time. 
Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold

Instead of:  plastic water bottles
  • Why?  Yes it is super important to hydrate- especially in summer.   With kids in the heat you should always have a water bottle with you- however some of the funnest water bottles that feature some of your kiddos favorite characters are made of plastic,  While many might say they are BPA free- they probably still contain similar substitute chemicals that will still mess with your hormones
  • Switch to:  safer glass or stainless steel water bottles
  • I like: 
Pura Sport 18 oz/550 ml Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Silicone Sport Flip Cap & Sleeve, Pink Swirl (Plastic Free, NonToxic Certified, BPA Free):  I am obsessed with these and every single family member in my house has one.  Why?  lightweight stainless steel and absolutely no plastic.  none whatsoever. They also come in different sizes with different sipping options (5 oz for infants, 11 ounce, 18 oz and 28 oz: I love the largest size listed here for adults and older kids.   For younger kids the smaller size with sippy or bottle top is ideal).

Lifefactory 16-Ounce BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle with Flip Cap and Silicone Sleeve, Grass Green:   recently I personally have been using more glass bottles.  Life factory were one of the first companies to come out with child friendly (silicone protected in fun colors) glass bottles for the entire family.

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