When the first major recall happened I dutifully went online and checked each toy, then I thought it was over, and isolated incident. But more recalls keep coming, making me wonder how much lead is in my house that just didn't get tested? With all the lead related recalls-never mind the ghb recall ( I knew something was just wrong about plastic dots that held together with water) -it makes it hard to know what to let your kids play with.
Just about every store I shop in (for toys) is a big box store, target, walmart, toys-r-us, job lot-you see where this is going I'm sure. While we don't tend to buy much by way of character toys like sesame st or diego or thomas, we have bought a few things and we have been given toys as gifts. With each recall I went to the appropriate web sites and checked each toy involved. I have had several of the toys pictured but because our toys were bought before the specified time frame they are said to not be involved.
Lately when anyone has given a toy to our children it is either accompanied by-"I checked it wasn't made in China so no lead" or "I don't think it has lead." It surprised me when I heard it the first time, but it makes sense that people who like your children enough to give them a gift don't want it to be poisonous. It has also made me take a second look at what I give to other children.
It's hard to know what to let your child play with anymore. You can continue to buy the toys you would have bought-because that is what your child likes-and hope for the best, or you can buy only toys made from safe places like this:
But to be honest I haven't even looked, I have a two year old and a newborn and only so much computer time. I guess my approach is I will buy things I know my children will like that are developmentally appropriate-try to make smart choices and hope for the best. At this point Will's christmas shopping is done-I love amazon! The baby will only be about 4 months, so what does he need? I think I'm going to get him one of those free standing jumper things.
So here is what Will is getting this year:
Melissa and Doug 40 piece Basic Cardboard Blocks-and the 24 piece set as well
Melissa and Doug deluxe wooden sandwich making set
Melissa and Doug cutting food box
a toy microwave with a few pieces of plastic food
a set of play pots and pans and place settings
a box of three monster trucks
table mate children's activity table and chair
chutes and ladders
don't spill the beans
And he is done! I thought about getting him a play kitchen because he loves to pretend to cook, but I don't really have room for any large toys, and the one he fell in love with was 250.00. So I made one out of cardboard boxes (due to our diaper and wipe habit) and he is thrilled with it! It was free and probably no lead!
What is a parent to do? It's not like I have time to be the toy police, but I don't want to be negligent and let my children be exposed to harmful chemicals. I will take a second look at the gifts our kids get this year, and I wonder about some of things I purchased (that microwave was only 10.00-does cheap=lead?) Mostly I'm just confused and with each passing week it seems this is becoming a much bigger issue than I ever imagined!
this was written as part of the blog blast-get the lead out-for the parent bloggers network, and consumers union-you can see them here:
The consumers union is looking for 30,000 parents to volunteer by 11/14 to be Safe Shoppers and let their local stores know that they are tired of the recalls. Sounds like it's worth it to me!