We all want our children to be safe this year. We teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, we insist on them wearing a coat and gloves when they are out playing in the snow, but did you know that some of their toys could be a danger this year too? Most of us don’t think twice about checking consumer advocate reports when we are out doing our Christmas shopping. If it’s on the shelf it must be safe right? Wrong. This year’s consumer advocate report released a few weeks ago, stated that over a dozen toys have been found on store shelves that violate federal safety standards. Many were choking hazards for small children, others had unsafe levels of lead and other chemicals called phthalates. Exposure to lead can cause irreversible brain damage and phthalates have been linked to reproductive problems in recent studies. There were also warnings about certain toys being above voluntary industry noise limits. One in particular they mentioned was a talking Elmo cellphone. They warn that it could cause hearing impairment in children.
While the toy industry has been working around the clock to try and make sure that their toys meet the federal regulations, there are always a few that seem to slip between the cracks every year. There has been a steady decline in the number of toy recalls over the last several years, but it is always important to check just to be sure. You don’t want your child to end up with a toy that could be a potential danger to them. It may take a little extra time to look each toy up, it may seem like a waste of time, but wouldn’t you rather know without a doubt that the toys are safe for your children? I know I would.