It's enough to leave a parent holidazed and confused. Recall after recall means fewer toys on store shelves and concerns about how safe the remaining ones are.
More than 21,000,000 toys are on the government's recall list this holiday season. The recalls involve everything from toys considered choking hazards to one being tainted with a date rape drug.
Lead paint is what landed more toys on the recall list this year than anything else. There are 61 different recalls this year viruses 40 last year. And this year, 19 of those recalls involve lead paint compared to just two in 2006.
Anything containing more lead than 0.06 percent is considered a health hazard, especially for children. "Some of the effects of lead-based paint can be nervous system effects for children, kidney system effects, and they can also lead to slurring of speech,” says Nathan Powell with the Kentucky Division of Environmental Health.
Illinois is the only state with set standards for lead levels in toys. “The best holiday gift congress could give children, America's littlest consumers, is to pass a toy safety law that will protect them from dangerous toys,” says Ed Mierzwinski of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Keeping track of recalled toys can be tough. Stores are supposed to remove them from shelves. But parents need to do some homework too, especially since their child might already have the toy.
You might be surprised to know the government doesn't test toys for hidden dangers before they go on sale. Instead that's up to the toymakers, importers, and retailers.
Convinced toy makers and retailers aren't doing enough, California and Los Angeles are now suing the biggest names in the industry, including Mattel, Fisher-Price, and Toys “R” Us.