April has arrived -- and it brings rainy, blustery days that go hand in hand with making those gardens grow. Now is the time to accessorize your kids in waterproof gear like umbrellas, galoshes, and raincoats. Unfortunately, a lot of the cute rain gear that's on the market is made using toxic chemicals like PVC -- which isn't the only toxin in vinyl rain gear. A 2013 investigation tested some popular rain gear brands for the heavy metals lead and cadmium and found alarming levels of both in 70% of the products tested. That's the bad news. The good news is that some companies are figuring out that we don't want to wrap our kids up in carcinogens. Check out this list of awesome rain gear that keeps your little guys dry without the toxic chemicals.
Umbrellas are a handy piece of rain gear to stash in the car or carry on a walk, but you don’t want to tote around an umbrella made from toxic PVC! The advocacy group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families advises that it’s not too difficult to find nylon or polyester umbrellas, which are safer than PVC. They recommend avoiding clear plastic or brightly colored umbrellas unless you trust the brand. Hatley’s umbrellas are made from 100% polyester.
Luckily, there are some trustworthy brands making cute umbrellas! Both Hatley and iPlay Babywear make PVC-free umbrellas in cheery colors, so your child can stay dry and look cute without the toxic PVC.
Galoshes and Rain Boots
Finding non-toxic rain boots can be difficult, and the key is looking for boots made from natural rubber rather than plastic. If you want natural rubber, check out Hatley Rain Boots or iPlay Babywear. Both are made with natural rubber and are safer for your kiddo. Canadian company Kamik also makes adorable, stellar rain boots for kids (and parents) using recyclable PVC-free rubber.
There is an exception to the rubber rule when it comes to rain boots, however! Butler Overboots makes rain boots that slip on over your child’s regular shoes. This rainy day gear is made using a lead- and phthalate-free polymer. And they’re cute to boot!
Raincoats are the most ubiquitous piece of kids’ rain gear, and luckily more and more companies are ditching PVC for safer materials. L.L. Bean is one company that’s committed to making PVC-free rain gear for kids, and they have some very cute raincoats for your little one! IPlay Babywear is another great source for non-toxic raincoats, and they have some very cute patterns!
Lead image via Butler Overboots