What Kind of Kids Jewelry is Safe For Your Children?
A soft, inexpensive metal, lead is often used in making costume jewelry. Wearing jewelry containing lead does not cause harm — but sucking, chewing on or swallowing it can cause many harmful effects to children’s bodies, including death. Jewelry that is painted or has a top coating does not make it safer for children: the coating can be chewed or worn off. One of the big challenges with lead is that it has a sweet taste, which can encourage kids to put it in their mouths.
There are a number of safety issues associated with children’s jewelry. First among these may be age appropriateness. Children who might still mouth jewelry, and this isn’t limited to toddlers, shouldn’t have any types that present potential hazards. A charm, a locket or even a bead could easily become lodged in the throat if it breaks off and cause choking.
Another issue is considering the components of the jewelry. For a time, many inexpensive costume jewlryitems for kids contained much higher than safe levels of lead, which when mouthed, exposed children to potentially dangerous amounts of lead. Though some states now limit the amount of lead that can be used in children’s jewelry, labeling may not always be accurate.
Allergies should also be considered. Some kids are allergic to certain metals, particularly nickel, which is present in many low cost jewelry items. If parents note rash or discoloration of the skin when kids wear jewelry they should not allow kids to continue to wear the pieces that might be responsible.
Once parents or others have taken into account potential health hazards, breakage, and replacement issues, there are other things to consider when buying children’s jewelry. Chief among these may be what type to purchase. Here variation is just as extensive as that for adult jewelry. Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches abound and each type may be appropriate under various circumstances. Sometimes families have traditions about when to give certain types. A beautiful watch might be offered as a graduation gift, or diamond earrings may be a traditional gift for a girl’s sixteenth birthday.
Children’s jewelry should be age appropriate in more ways than one. In general, it is considered gauche for children to wear exceptionally large jewelry. Stones on jewelry can be of any type but usually shouldn’t be huge. As kids age into late teenage-hood, they may begin to wear styles that are similar to those worn by adults, but in most cases, very flashy jewelry is still less appropriate for young people, and simple, muted styles are preferred.