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Are Certain Chemicals Disrupting Learning?
Have you ever wondered what a toy is made of? Where it came from? If you have, then you are now looking at toys like you look at food. You want non-toxic brain food!
"Chemical exposures may be making our job to help young children learn far more difficult. Imagine the implications on lifelong learning."
The hazards of lead are long known and the smell of formaldehyde should tell you all you need to know. These are bad stuff. But what about the plastic compounds making the news lately?
Why states are banning BPA and phthalates from children's products
BPA or bisphenol A is used to harden plastics in products such as baby bottles, cups, toys and widely used to line aluminum cans. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration recognized "some concerns" about BPA's potential effects on brain development of fetuses, infants and other young children. It stopped short of declaring BPA as unsafe. It isn't stopping the dozen or so states moving to ban the substance from baby products though.
Phthalates (th-ay-lates or fay-lates), another plasticizer, is commonly added to plastic to increase its flexibility, durability, transparency, and longevity. Phthalates are ubiquitous and can be found in lotions, medicines, vinyl flooring, children's toys, etc. If you look at a list of ingredients on a label and an acronym ends with a P (HEHP, DBP, BBP, etc), chances are it has some form of phthalates.
Phthalates have hormone-like properties and are classified as endocrine disruptors. As such, certain levels interfere with normal hormonal development. Hormones are like signals that pass on information to other cells - how body parts grow, how to behave, how the brain makes sense of information, etc. Of particular concern is how phthalates affect the very young - from fetuses to preschoolers. Disruptions in hormonal communication while in utero, for example, have lifelong effects physiologically (reproductive system irregularities), behaviorally (sensory integration issues), and neurologically (lifelong learning disorders).
It all adds up. Some argue that BPA and phthalates exposures in individual products are so low as not to be a concern. Others argue that since the chemicals are everywhere, it is their cumulative concentrations that pose significant threats during the brain building years. No wonder parental advocacy groups are rising across the US to regulate the chemicals and limit their presence in children's products.
How chemicals disrupt brain building
What's the link? Studies show that the first five years of a child's life is the most productive in terms of brain development. In fact, by the time a child is five years old, her brain will have grown to be 95% of its full adult size. During these brain building years, billions of synapses make important connections that serve as foundations for lifelong learning. Child developmental experts highly recommend that children be exposed to various learning events that optimize these critical early years. How then do chemical exposures affect a child's potential to learn?
Studies have long established the negative effects of lead and other heavy chemicals (mercury, cadmium, etc) to a child's neurological development, often resulting in permanent learning, behavioral and physical disorders. New studies now show links between high BPA and phthalates exposures and reproductive, behavior and brain defects in fetuses, babies and toddlers. Studies on adolescents did not show such links, suggesting that such exposures are far more disruptive during the brain building years. High chemical exposures may in fact disrupt normal brain development and make early learning difficult, compromising a child's full potential at the outset.
|Play Facts||Toxic Colors (0%)|
* Based on age appropriate play. Specific benefits may be higher or lower depending on toy, child & adult engagement.
INGREDIENTS: Sustainable chemical-free rubberwood; Certified non-toxic, water-based dyes; Formaldehyde-free glue
Meets or exceeds US & European safety standards. Made in world-class factory in Thailand under stringent quality & safety controls.
ABOUT PLAN TOYS: Multi-award winning toy eco-friendly company. Uses higher standards than those set by the toy industry.
CAUTION: Play immediately after opening. Will stimulate gray matter between your child's ears.
Note: 0% means none or no detectable levels. Labels are for illustration purposes only and are not exhaustive. Individual product certification available upon request.
Want Non-Toxic Brain Food?
Like you, ChildTrek wants children to reach their full potential. Like you, ChildTrek does not want anything to get in the way of a child's brain, behavioral and hormonal development. Like you, we want ALL children to have a great start in life - to be able to master early learning skills that are key for lifelong success.
That's why ChildTrek offers you a large selection of toys where you can be confident about the toy's safety, learning and play facts. We've organized the information so that you know what the toys are made of, where they are made, and who makes them.
Higher Safety & Quality Standards. The vast majority of toys offered by ChildTrek are made by toymakers who adopt higher safety and quality standards than those set by the mass toy industry. They choose non-toxic, higher-quality materials, make safer toys, and focus on research-based learning. They make toys that withstand heavy-duty play, making replacement unnecessary for years and years. They are specialty toy brands - not often found in big box stores.
ChildTrek is proud to feature five specialty brands as highly conscientous and deeply committed to the overal package of safety, quality, education and play value. They are invested in world prosperity and care about the people who work for them! Check out the below promotions we negotiated especially for NAEYC members.
Leaders of the Pack
NAEYC Member-Only Specials
NAEYC-Member Only Special.
NAEYC members who have Loyalty Rewards accounts can earn Triple Points. Our best Loyalty Rewards special. Simply enter "NAEYC Triple Rewards" in "Notes Area" at checkout, and we will deposit the equivalent of Triple Rewards earned with your order made during 12/12/11 - 12/14/11.
How to Make a Purchase Order
Ways To Place Orders
You may order any item at ChildTrek.com, items that are out of stock, from catalogs (Plan Toys, HaPe Toys) we've made available online, or quantities beyond current availability. Once your order is placed we will confirm what will be available for shipment.
- Via ChildTrek.com - For credit card purchases under $8000, you may purchase directly from ChildTrek.com for items we currently have in stock.
- Purchase Order
A) Submit an order using your own internal form to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax, 253-534-8826; or
B) Submit an order using the ChildTrek Purchase Order form. Save Excel Worksheet or PDF, fill out, and mail to email@example.com or via fax, 253-534-8826.
A ChildTrek specialist will review your order and confirm availability, pricing, shipment fees and method, and expected delivery within 3 -5 business days of submission.
- Phone Order - Before calling in your order, please use the ChildTrek Purchase Order form (Excel Worksheet) or (PDF) as a worksheet (save either versions to your computer). This will facilitate the order and ensure accuracy.
How Your Order Is Shipped
Most orders are shipped via FedEx Ground. Oversized orders are shipped via a reputable freight carrier. Once your order is confirmed, please allow 3 - 6 weeks for delivery, sometimes sooner. Strictly for Kids items are made to order and may take up to 8 weeks to deliver. If your order requires special delivery instructions, please include these on the purchase order.
Acceptable Payment Methods
ChildTrek accepts VISA, MC, and Discover. We also accept checks and money orders. Please allow up to 10 business days for checks to clear, after which your order will be processed. If you wish to use American Express, a 3% processing fee will be added to your total.