Kids begin to gravitate towards jewelry around the time they have their ears pierced.
Although, some children just naturally become enthralled with mom’s necklaces and accessories and want their own collection.
Jewelry is a fun way to accessorize, and kids often want to add a little sparkle and shine to an outfit or to feel a bit more grown up.
While those necklaces, bracelets and baubles might jazz up a look, they also may be harming your child’s health each time they opt to accessorize.
Metal Mayhem: The Hidden Dangers in Your Child’s Jewelry Box
CBS News reported that tests conducted by the Ecology Center revealed dangerous chemicals and metals in costume jewelry that was sold at popular retailers.
The Center tested 99 products from 14 retailers and “found that over half of the products had high levels of hazardous chemicals.”
Some samples even contained lead or cadmium.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “cadmium and its compounds are highly toxic and exposure to this metal is known to cause cancer and targets the body’s cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems.”
While children should be allowed to creatively express themselves with unique jewelry and accessories, parents should be cautious in what jewelry they choose to purchase for their children.
While not all costume jewelry is hazardous, parents have no way of knowing which items might contain harmful chemicals and dangerous metals.
Here are five tips to find jewelry that keeps kids safe from unhealthy chemicals and metals…while still giving them creative freedom of expression:
Know Your Metals
Safe metals for kids (and adults) are not coated…and are relatively pure in form.
Silver is an inexpensive choice for earrings, necklaces and rings. Just make sure the metal is labeled 925 or Sterling.
Yellow gold also has low risk for allergic reactions.
However, white or rose gold are mixed with other metals, which may cause reactions in some children or adults.
Platinum, while expensive, also is a good choice.
Surgical steel also is relatively inexpensive and a safe choice for sensitive skin; parents will often find surgical steel in earrings.
You Get What You Pay For
The adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is true, unfortunately, when it comes to jewelry.
Cheap costume jewelry isn’t always marked with the types of metals they include.
While those accessories may be affordable and super cheap, if you don’t know the content…don’t make the purchase!
Don’t dismiss Thrift
Looking to add accessories at an inexpensive cost, try thrift stores.
Often, you will find unusual accessories that may be the real deal but at a discount.
I’ve even found shell jewelry from Hawaii! Just check for the metal stamps, so you know what you’re buying. And then clean it really, really well!
Flaking is a Bad Sign
If a piece of jewelry flakes or peels, don’t buy it.
If the metal looks painted, also don’t buy it!
Coated metals can be mysterious in a very bad way…unless that product is labeled; you just have no way of knowing what it is you’re buying.
File plated metals also under the “do not buy” category. Bustle also recommends that those with sensitive skin should stay away from the plated jewelry.
Skip Metals Completely
Earrings generally incorporate some type of metal (especially for the posts), but most other jewelry can be crafted from alternative materials.
Shell rings and necklaces are a unique statement, and leather bracelets and necklaces have a boho vibe.
Some pendants may even be carved from wood, shell or stone.
Choker necklaces are on trend, and you can find many that are crafted from ribbons or fabric.
While jewelry is a fun way to show your style and personality, certain types of costume jewelry may be dangerous to growing kids.
Lead, cadmium and other chemicals may be hiding in those sweet necklaces, rings and bracelets.
Be safe and shop smart. Choose pure metals, alternative types of jewelry and even check out fine jewelry for cheap prices at your local thrift stores.
Of course, you also can DIY…homemade jewelry is the ultimate artistic expression!