Stuffed Toys and Asthma
A lot of asthma educators and doctors recommend removing stuffed toys from the bedroom of kids with asthma and allergies. These professionals also suggest washing toys on a regular basis. Toys made from fabrics with harsh chemicals should be avoided as well. Stuffed toys provide the perfect place for house dust mites to live in. Manufacturers may use claims like allergen-free, hypoallergenic or non-allergenic to attract customers, but there is often a lack of consistent testing requirements or data validation to prove these claims.
Allergy Standards Limited, global standards, and certification organization has devised testing methodologies to determine the suitability specifications and performance criteria of products for people with asthma, allergies and those with problems regarding indoor air quality. The certification process for stuffed toys uses different proprietary and recognized techniques to evaluate toys for exposure to irritant materials and allergenic proteins at the time of purchase as well as after when in use. Stuffed toys are required to meet the following standards:
- Toys must undergo further material tests to guarantee that the products don’t have the properties that may trigger allergy and asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals
- Follow state safety legislation for age range and style in the countries where the toys are sold
- Allergens amassing in the toy should be removable through machine wash. The level of house dust mite build-up in stuffed toys under defined conditions should be determined as well.
- In order to maintain the health and safety of children, stuffed toys must undergo further tests for finishing chemicals and textile processing known or suspected to cause irritation or allergic reactions. The testing protocol defines the maximum content of dyes and chemicals allowed. The limits stated are based on existing scientific research and knowledge regarding the safety of chemicals used in the textile and toy industries. Since research is continuing, these limitations will be kept under constant review.
- Since allergens will amass at various rates, the frequency of suggested physical cleaning process will differ from one toy to another.
- Before and after the suggested repeated cleaning processes, toys should meet or even exceed the strictest applicable global directive standards and legal limitations for safety and quality.
Only those toys that follow and meet the criteria and regulations prescribed by ASL will be allowed to receive and renew their certification.
Asthma-friendly Stuffed Toys
There are stuffed toys that exceed the regular allergen standards for such items. Toys bearing ASL’s asthma-friendly certification mark show that these products have been scientifically tested and confirmed suitable for those with asthma and allergies. Such toys won’t trigger asthma symptoms. Your kids will love these toys and you can also have peace of mind knowing that they are safe while using their stuffed toys.
It is also important that you prevent allergic triggers in your house as much as possible like dirty carpets and rugs. Make sure to wash mattress covers, duvet, bed sheets and duvet covers in hot water yearly. Using natural cleaning products can also help.