Have you started Christmas shopping for those beautiful grandchildren?  Have you tried to purchase a toy not made in China?  Many of us have serious concerns these days about the safety of toys, and other baby/childhood products, especially those manufactured in China. We hear about recalls and potential health risks, yet the imports continue.  In 2010 Fisher-Price recalled 10 millions kids products – 10 MILLION! Mattel recalled 11 million!  I have accepted that we are on our own (must do our own research) and purchase accordingly.

This process is time-consuming, and frustrating, but I believe we have the longterm health of our grandchildren to consider. In this post I am sharing what I have discovered, in an effort to help others understand the risks of childhood products from China, and alternative resources where we can find manufacturers in the US, or other responsible countries.

Listed below are links to recent news (2010 – 2011) on toy recalls, and articles about hazardous and toxic toys:

Latest Toxic Toy Recalls, Lead and Cadmium

Toy Safety 2011  On this site you can research any toy by name or brand.

2011 Toy Recalls, Complete List

26th Annual “Trouble in Toyland” Report

The lists go on and on, and the farther you read the scarier it becomes!  You can type in keywords related to this issue and find hundreds of websites.  My personal concern is directed toward the chemical dangers.  We can obviously look at a toy and determine if it is inappropriate for age on many levels, but the chemical content is a hidden danger.  And, the damage does not even show up immediately.  Exposure to PVCs, (in plastics) lead, cadmium and other chemicals poses longterm, cumulative danger, in the form of learning and developmental disorders, cancer, and asthma, among myriad others.  Lead poisoning can affect children’s IQ levels.

Fortunately, there are alternatives, and the sources are dramatically improved from my research this time last year.  Look at these sites for safe toys:

Healthy Stuff Website

China Free Christmas  This is a great site that  lists hundreds of age appropriate toys, brands you can trust, and brands to watch carefully.

Top Ten Green Toys For Toddlers

There is no going back to the time when our parents knew that if a product was on the shelf in a retail store then it was safe.  We have to be vigilant. I will admit that I am not a purist.  In the past I have purchased toys from China, but the more research I do, the more determined I am to find safe  alternatives.  I understand the financial issue.  Toys made in China are usually much more affordable, but take a look at the volume of toys children receive at Christmas.  Perhaps it would be safer for the child, if Grandma and Grandpa purchased just one or two really healthy toys.

When you’re shopping, let the retailers in your city know your concerns.  It is working, by the way.  I’ve noticed that there are more alternative choices than ever this year.

Enjoy your holidays and happy shopping!


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