Avoid Plastics with Harmful Chemicals

Many children receive gifts made of plastic over the holidays. Children may bring these items to the early education and child care program. Caring for Our Children, 3rd edition (CFOC3) Standard 5.2.9.9: Plastic Containers and Toys says: “The facility should use infant bottles, plastic containers, and toys that do not contain Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Bisphenol A (BPA), or phthalates. When possible, caregivers/teachers should substitute materials such as paper, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel for plastics.” ….

Products children touch and use should be labeled “phthalate-free” or “BPA-free” or certified by Toy Safety Certification Program (TSCP) or American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Check the symbol on the bottom of all plastic items including toys. Seven distinct types are labeled with a number code generally found on the bottom of the object. Best plastic choices are labeled 1, 2, 4, 5 and plastics labeled “phthalate-free” or “BPA-free”; avoid plastics labeled 3, 6, and 7. For more detail, see the full text of CFOC3 Standard 5.2.9.9.