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Hazardous Toy Recall: Defective Toys Can Place Children in Peril

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. Parents Magazine 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.