Shopping for children’s toys has created a safety nightmare for parents where there used to be none because of the recent recalls on toys containing high levels of lead, GHB, and candy-like magnetic pieces that when swallowed, can cause choking hazards or serious, if not fatal, intestinal injuries. The toys at highest risk seem to be those made in China.
As the holiday season wraps up, the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
has posted over 700 Toy Hazard Recalls leading many parents to worry about
the where the toy is made and what it is made of. “Anytime a company
brings a banned hazardous product into the US marketplace, especially
one intended for children, it is unacceptable,” said Nancy Nord,
acting chair of the CPSC.
Serious injuries, including one fatality, have occurred as a result of
children swallowing tiny magnets that fall out of Magnetix toy pieces.
reported that “Spin Master recalled about 4.2 million of its Aqua
Dots beads after discovering that the beads’ coating may contain
a chemical that becomes toxic when ingested. Children who swallow the
beads can develop respiratory depression, become comatose, or have seizures.”
Carter Keithley, President of the
Toy Industry Association
“Safety is and always has been the number one priority of the U.S.
toy industry. For this holiday season, toy manufacturers and retailers
are re-doubling their efforts. They are testing and retesting toys in
order to reassure consumers in the safety of their products. As a result,
there is more attention and scrutiny being applied to the toys sold in
America than ever before.”
The toy industry has long-held the confidence of parents to develop and
produce items that bring happiness and education to children. Product
recalls affect a parent’s purchase; corporate profitability is suffering.
In 2007, Fisher-Price recalled close to 1 million toys, including Big
Bird and Elmo, because of high levels of lead paint in the products.
Sen. Dick Durbin, IL (D) introduced a bill to dramatically expand the
product safety commission’s ability to protect consumers and to
provide better safety standards for imported products.
Recent NY survey shows some recalled toys still on store shelves. What
can you do to protect your children? Be a conscientious consumer. Look
for posted recalls in the stores where you shop. Search the internet for
recall information. Examine the toys before giving them to your children.
Instruct your children on the proper and intended us of the toy. Read
the labels on toys and take the age recommendations seriously.