‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, but parents should be extra mindful of what toys they are buying for their children this winter.
A report from the BBC has revealed a number of unsafe toys for sale on popular sites like Amazon and eBay. Safety risks included high levels of chemicals, too much lead, and the chance of intestinal blockage.
Not Enough Regulation
Under current laws, online marketplaces are not responsible for ensuring the safety of products sold on their site. Sellers make their items available for purchase with little to no regulation. For example, some off-brand versions of popular toys are listed, sold, and shipped directly from China without a second glance from online retailers.
In addition to being blatantly hazardous, many of these toys are not labeled properly, so parents may not realize a toy contains small parts. Of the 200 products surveyed from Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress, 22% of them were unsafe. This means 1 in 5 toys sold online could be dangerous for your child.
With a 100-toy sample size, 18% of Amazon’s products were found to be unsafe. Watchdog group, Which?, flagged six products for their lack of safety.
The following products presented hazards:
--A magnetic building set
--An inflatable swim ring
--A remote-control car
--A toy dinosaur
Some of these popular children’s gifts contained high levels of chemicals and excessive levels of lead and others would block or perforate the intestine if swallowed.
After being alerted to these hazards, Amazon took 5 of the products down. The lead-filled toy dinosaur remains on the market.
Fifty products were sampled on eBay and 18% of them turned out to be unsafe. Which? identified 12 dangerous products, including:
--A Transformers helmet
--A cartoon helicopter
While similar to on-brand gifts, the products in question had toxic chemicals proven to damage reproductive systems, dangerously high-volume levels, and small parts that children could easily choke on.
Fortunately, e-Bay removed all 12 products.
Lead in Toys
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), imported toys, antique toys, and toy jewelry have the highest risk of containing lead. While lead is invisible to the naked eye, lead exposure can affect your child’s health.
If you are not sure whether or not a product is safe, don’t buy it. To be extra safe, don’t let your child put plastic toys in their mouth. Costume jewelry is an especially notorious source of lead poisoning. The CDC has found no safe amounts of lead when consumed orally, even if the consumption was unintentional.
Protect Yourself – Buy “On Brand” and Contact Us if Anything Goes Wrong
To avoid giving your child a dangerous gift, you may want to shop in-person instead of online. No matter where you do your holiday shopping, though, try to choose trusted brands instead of off-brand substitutes. While the price may be appealing, the price your child may pay isn’t worth it.
Unfortunately, even reputable brands aren’t always as trustworthy as they seem. Hazardous amounts of chemicals may slip into anything we purchase, so parents must always be vigilant.
We can be reached at (888) 711-5947 and offer free case evaluations.