Gymnastics, tumbling for 4yo without flame retardant foam?
I have a very active 4 year old girl who I think would enjoy tumbling, gymnastics, or any other activity that would allow her to bounce around. However, I have not been able to find a gym or location that doesn't have foam mats. Unfortunately, foam is invariably treated with flame retardants, which damage the bodies of growing children. Have any of you come across any places where they don't use foam mats? Or can you recommend other activities, where padded foam mats are not used, that allow children to bounce around and take physical risks?
Thanks so much!
Feb 28, 2017
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How about a playground? Outside, no mats and physical risks abound. Every parent has to judge for themselves the relative risks their children will be exposed to, but with that said, the harm caused by flame retardants (which were being phased out of furniture in CA, not sure if mats count as furniture) is based on assumptions of exposure of 8hrs per day, every day for years. For pajamas or a bed, since a child sleeps in them for 8-12 hours per night, that is the type of exposure that risk studies assess. 1 hour per week at a gymnastics class where only a portion is spent on the mat, and virtually none just sitting breathing the mat (and the retardants are encased in the mat fabric), well, you can never say the risk is nothing, but I would bet it is far less than the risk of broken limbs or concussions from tumbling and bouncing without mats.