As I was skimming the pages of the online toy stores for my daughter’s upcoming 6th birthday gift ideas, I came across something I had not heard of before—asthma friendly toys. These are toys that have received a certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limited. The certification is awarded to products to
“ensure that they fulfill suitability criteria for individuals with asthma and allergic sensitivities.”
These products have been scientifically tested and proven to be safe for people with allergies and asthma. Stuffed animals are often shunned as being dust catchers and not safe for children with asthma or allergies, so how nice to see a whole line of stuffed toys approved for these children. I know how valuable a stuffed animal can be to a child, now even those with asthma or allergies can safely have one.
Granted, there is some work involved in keeping these stuffed toys allergy free, including freezing and washing (complete directions come with each purchase), but the payoff will be worth it if it allows your child to have a stuffed animal. These plush toys do not contain any fillings or fabric known to aggravate asthma, and they are made with extreme durability and quality in order to withstand the consistent care they require.
There are over 30 different plush toys and include baby rattle/teethers and security blankies, mini plush toys, and full size stuffed animals in a wide range of animals, including dogs, tigers, frogs and teddy bears. These toys reach a wide age range of children and both boys and girls.
Some of the toys in particular, have been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio was founded in 1989 to test and review products for children by experts and families alike actually engaging in the toys and reviewing them. It is a very prestigious and highly regarded award.
The Asthma Friendly toys are quite easy to find and are sold in many stores and online/catalog, including Target, Kohls, Leaps & Bounds, One Step Ahead, FAO Schwartz and more. Even Build A Bear carries an Asthma Friendly Teddy Bear. These products have been featured on Good Morning America, Forbes, and the Washington Post among other reputable sources. For more information on the products themselves, the certification or where to purchase, go to www.asthmafriendly.com.
- Heather Legg