Imagine this: You have a storage room filled to the brim with baby things—games, clothes, toys, a stroller—but you don’t have a baby. In fact, you haven’t had a baby in 20 years. The question is: why do you have a room of baby things? The answer may be this: you’re saving it for your future grandchildren. That’s right—you’ve already made plans for your kids to have kids, and you’ve already planned their first few years of personal belongings. Sounds great, right? Well, this isn’t always the best idea—and here’s why.
Collecting for the children of the future seems to be a trend, and not only is it taking up valuable space in your home, but this practice may come with safety issues. For example, you should avoid using car seats that are over 5-6 years old (many brands actually include expiry dates on their products) as the plastic may become brittle with age. Some older toys with metal pieces or moving parts may no longer be legal for use in that age group (or legal at all!)—they could hurt little fingers or could even contain lead and toxic paints.
You shouldn’t be afraid of saving a few classic toys in good shape for your future grandkids, but you should consider safety implications from holding on to old toys and baby supplies, and set limits on what you keep. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? often picks up old toys on the job, donating those that are in good shape and adhere to current safety standards, and recycling those that aren’t up to par. You can feel good knowing that the toys will go to a needy family or are being disposed of responsibly, instead of having them gathering dust and taking up space in your house. Besides—maybe your kids won’t have the same taste in baby clothes that you did in the 80s or 90s–or earlier!
Here’s a great organization that we’re involved with that helps bring new toys to needy kids at Christmastime (one of many fantastic charitable organizations that collect toys for the less fortunate): www.toysfortots.org
For recalls and safety standards, here are some resources to get you started!:
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission (includes recalls) www.cpsc.gov
- Toy Industry Association www.toyassociation.org
- Advisories, Warnings, Recalls www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/advisories-avis/index-eng.php
- Toys Regulations Canada http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2011-17/index.html
Sam Landa is PR Manager for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and grew up in a household where many boxes of stuff were being ‘saved for later.’ In her spare time she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on Google+ or LinkedIn.