Avoiding Recalled Christmas Toys
Kids love getting gifts at Christmas. They dream about what they will find under the tree
or in their stockings. They leave hints about what they would like to see under the gaily-
wrapped paper. They whisper about their gift desires in jolly St. Nick's ear and make lists
months in advance. As a parent, we want our kids to be happy and when appropriate we
give them what they want. Knowing if a toy is safe to give a child is more than knowing
if it is age appropriate. It seems that there are more toy recalls each year. Toys are
recalled when there is something dangerous about the toy, or toxic in how it is made. The
gift giver needs to be aware of toy recalls and what to look out for when purchasing toys
so that the gift is received with joy instead of disaster. How do toy recalls work?
Understanding the anatomy of a toy recall:
The usual route of a recall starts with an investigation into incidents of injury or from
tests run in quality control labs. Unfortunately usually an incident means that the
dangerous toy has already injured a child or perhaps several children.
Currently on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission Website there are a whole
page of recalls, most involving Violations of Lead Paint Standards. The most recent
recalls on the list include Gymboree Corp's recall of Toy Swords due to breakage and
laceration hazard, Dunkin' Donuts Recalls of Glow Sticks due to choking and
strangulation hazards, and Lan Enterprises Recall of a doll stroller after a child's finger
tip was severed. The same product also is stated to pose an entrapment hazard. These are
just from the first 10 recalls from that long list of recalls.
The best scenario would be if the company's quality control department discovered the
dangerous situation before toys reached the shelves, so that no innocent children would
be injured or made ill due to playing with a toy.
Safety standards are obviously an important part of any product manufacturing process.