The start of {toy} shopping season! Scary!

This year's shopping will be so much different than previous years....now more than ever I really am going to go the handmade, artfully {thoughtfully} crafted route. The information on unsafe toys has given me plenty to think about this week as I start looking for that special something to put under the tree. Our kids know that they will get maybe one or two of their most special "wants" even though their lists are usually very long. This year the older two went through the all the "toy" books that have been delivered to the house. I was flipping through it the other day and was like, "No, probably not, nope, probably has lead, oooh, maybe, oops, that's been recalled...." and so on.

This will probably be my one post this week now that the kids are home for vacation. I had to check a few things off my to-do list for my son's cub scouts group. One of which was to prepare for next weeks collection of Toys for Tots. I set out to do a little research so I could put together a reminder flyer....the official website and other communities across the country clearly put emphasis on toy safety this year more than ever.

I discover that the list for recalled toys is incredibly scary! More so than I thought. So as I am reading through the various recalls when I notice one of our polly pocket toys is on the list {that one's gone from the toy box}. One statistic I read was that 80% of the toy market is in China. Not everything from China is bad news of course, but that number is way higher than I ever thought.

So I think my "reminder" flyer ended up sounding more of a public service announcement for the parents of our cub scouts. {I just hope no one thinks I am being preachy}

I decided on including a list of resources and links they could go to for more information and I also added a little blurb about what not to get.

With this year’s growing concerns over unsafe toys for our children we ask that everyone continue to be diligent in carefully selecting appropriate toys. There is a huge amount of information on the internet regarding unsafe toys and what to look for. Here are some of the tips:

Sometimes the toy will show the following labels that indicate the product met testing standards. Look for signs that the toy met standards...American National Standards Institute (ANSI),ASTM International (ASTM)

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Choose from responsible companies; those doing a lot of quality assurance. Stay away from toys with small parts, magnetic pieces, Aqua Dots, and toys containing play jewelry or charms. After reading the lists on several recall websites I would also recommend you check labels of craft kits very carefully and stay away from “dollar type” stores or discount toy stores.


Who are the responsible companies, I thought? Brands I trust? Two of the names I didn't see on those recall lists were Hasbro, and Playskool. Well, I hope this is a serious wake-up call for the toy giants. There are those being extra stringent now, but what about during the production and manufacturing process??? I also hope that this opens up more doors, somewhere in the future for the folks here in America and Canada who are making wonderful handmade toys.


Helpful Resources for Parents [The following helpful resource is from lists that were already complied on several of the websites below. I found it very useful and I added my own at the bottom.]

Federal Govt. Recalls | Recalls.gov

Toy Hazard Recalls | CPSC

American Academy Of Pediatrics Recalls

Lead Poisoning: What It Is | WebMD

Toy Information | ToyInfo.org

Toy Directory Recalls | TDmonthly.org

Mattel (Fischer-Price, Barbie, Hot-Wheels)

RC2 (Thomas) Recalls

About.com Toy Recalls

Toy Safety Tips | Toytips.com

Toy Safety Tips | Dr. Toy

Spot Lead Posioning Signs | Parents.com

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Toy Wishes Magazine

Toy Industry Association


Some additional sites I found useful:

www.toysfortots.org

www.greenlivingideas.com

www.thebostonchannel.com/toy-troubles

www.wbztv.com/consumer



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