Whether you’re for or against beginning winter holiday festivities the second you’ve finished eating Thanksgiving dinner, there’s no denying that getting a head start on gift shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday is now an integral part of kicking off the holiday season. While it’s tempting to fill your online shopping carts with toys and other gifts for your children and check out quickly to snag those deals, we suggest checking their wishlists twice for potentially dangerous items.
Considering the recent recalls of children’s toys and products, it may be tough for parents to determine what’s safe for Santa to deliver this year. To help make the process easier, here are some guidelines from KidsHealth to ensure the products you’re buying are safe.
- Regularly check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website for recalls.
- The CPSC monitors and regulates toys to ensure that manufacturers are following federal standards for safety.
- Check the item’s packaging for the following details:
- Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
- Stuffed toys should be washable.
- Painted toys must have lead-free paint.
- Art materials should be labeled as non-toxic.
- Crayons and paints should have ASTM D-4236 on the package. This means they’ve been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Say no to hand-me-downs.
- Older toys might not meet today’s safety standards. While it might be hard to discard such gifts from family and friends, safety should always come first.
- Check the noise levels.
- Some toys that rattle, squeak or feature musical or electronic noises can be way too loud for a child, especially if they hold it directly to their ears, and can damage hearing. Always make sure the toy isn’t too loud.
Even though it’s disheartening to have to take this many steps to ensure the products you purchase are safe, environmental attorneys like firm co-founder Vineet Dubey are actively fighting against companies who are exposing children to products that contain toxic levels of lead and other contaminants like phthalates. Take a look at this clip where Vineet explains what parents need to know about phthalates in children’s products, shows product examples and offers tips for spotting items with phthalates.
If you purchased a toy or product for your child that you think is unsafe, call the CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-CPSC and keep the product away from your child.
Recently Recalled Toddler and Children’s Products:
Green Sprouts Toddler Bottles and Cups
- Green Sprouts has recalled about 10,500 Stainless Steel Straw Bottles, Sippy Cups and Sip & Straw Cups due to lead poisoning concerns to children. The base of the bottles and cups can come off, exposing a previously inaccessible solder dot that contains lead. Although no injuries have been reported, the company is aware of seven cases in which the base broke.
- If you purchased one of these bottles or cups, the CPSC urges you to discard them and contact Green Sprouts for a refund.
Bentex Disney-Themed Children’s Clothing
- Bentex recalled about 87,000 pieces of Disney-themed children’s clothing over lead poisoning risks. The CPSC found lead that exceeded federal standards in the textile ink used to create the characters.
- The company is offering refunds for the items. To identify if your child’s clothing is included in this recall, the item and batch numbers are listed on the CPSC’s website.
Juvo Plus Butterfly Net Sets and Army Action Figure Playsets
- Juvo Plus’ insect-catching butterfly net sets and Blue Panda/Soldier Force Playset army action figure playsets were recalled for containing levels of phthalates and lead that exceed federal standards.
- The CPSC advises consumers to take the products away from children and contact Juvo Plus for a full refund.