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Christmas is the time kids love getting gifts. They dream about what
they will find under the tree or in their stockings. They usually leave
hints about what they would like to see under the tree. They might
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 try to give them what they want. Besides knowing if it is
age appropriate, it’s also important to know if a toy is safe to give a
child. It seems every year that there are more toy recalls 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
Understanding the anatomy of a toy recall:
A toy recall generally 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 is a whole page of recalls. You might want to first check these lists before shopping.
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 an important part of any product manufacturing
process and obeying these standards should be expected especially when
the products are made to be used by children. Monitoring, and enforcing
these regulations should be of the highest level of ability of the US
government and companies should be held accountable for violating these
Part of the problem is that so many of the US products are
manufactured globally and not in the US. China has been cited as the
manufacturing country in several recent toy recalls for lead paint
infractions. It is the responsibility of the US government and the US
companies to expect compliance from those countries they deal with and
to be able to regulate obedience and enforcement.
Finding Out About Toy Recalls:
Consumers can find out about a toy recall directly from toy companies
or from the US government by way of Websites like the Consumer Product
Safety Commission site located at:
When a determination has been made by a company to recall a toy, they
usually set up a hotline and information on the company Website that
addresses the recall issue including the particulars about what toy is
being recalled and what consumers are to do if they have the toy in
Many news agencies also make toy recalls public by making announcements and by giving information about the toy to the public.
One good reason to fill out that product questionnaire you received
in the box is that if you register the product with the company, the
company then has the ability to update you on issues with that product
including any recalls.
There is a blog that has a comprehensive list of recalls including the latest toy recalls. The blog can be accessed at:
The best thing any concerned individual can do regarding giving toys
at Christmas or anytime of the year is to stay informed and pay
attention to any news reports regarding recalls.