Bravo Belgium for taking steps to ban the sale of foam puzzle mats for babies and toddlers. The mats were tested and found to have cancer-causing formaldehyde and other toxic residues in them. As toxicologist Alfred Bernard put simply, “The[re] are solvents, residues from the manufacturing process that stay in the product afterwards. They can be absorbed through breathing or through the skin. As a rule, children should not be exposed to these products.” That seems like common sense and yet many parents seem to adopt a policy of ‘willful blindness’ to carcinogenic and harmful toxins in products they purchase for their children. The best thing you can do for your kids is to nurture their health and happiness. The joy gained from a colored piece of foam will be short-lived compared to the joy of being cancer-free and able to enjoy their own precious little ones someday.
As an alternative, we love these 100% organic mats by Under the Nile, which are handmade with leftover scraps from their clothing collection. It’s an efficient use of what would otherwise be wasted fabric and your little munchkin’s tummy time will be chemical-free. At $35, it’s cheaper than the average toxic foam mat. Thanks to Beth for sending this story along!