LEAD IN TOYS - What Does it All Mean?

For this holiday season, regarding lead in toys, toy manufacturers and retailers are re-doubling their efforts. They are testing and retesting toys in order to reassure consumers in the safety of their products. As a result, there is more attention and scrutiny being applied to the toys sold in America than ever before.

Mattel's Fisher-Price brand announced it is recalling 83 types of toys — including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters — because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead in toys. The recall involves 967,000 plastic preschool toys made by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States between May and August.

Under current U.S. regulations, children's products found to have more than 0.06 percent of lead are subject to a recall. Lead in toys is serious.

Safety is and always has been the number one priority of the U.S. toy industry.

Toy Safety Facts

  • Approximately 3 billion toys are sold in America each year.
  • Less than 1% of toys are recalled each year, including this year.
  • The vast majority of recalls are voluntary, meaning they are done by the toy makers themselves, not forced by government.
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works with toy manufacturers, retailers and importers to ensure toy safety.
  • The CPSC consistently lists toys among the safest of 15 common consumer product categories in the home.

What the U.S. Toy Industry is doing to ensure your children Safety:

The primary safety standards for the U.S. toy industry are the mandatory federal standard and the toy industry has also developed standards to make sure there is no lead in toys. Information about these and other

U.S. safety standards is available here.

The toy industry adheres to federal toy safety standards and has an effective recall system in place as a safety net. To help ensure toy safety, major toy retailers and manufacturers have tested and retested the toys on the shelves this holiday season.

Parents Play an Important Role:

Along with industry and government, parents have an important role in toy safety. As a parent, you should always:

Buy Smart:

  • Check age grading and all toy packaging labels to make sure the toy is appropriate for your child.
  • Avoid toys with small parts for children under age 3 or children who mouth toys.
  • Look for toys with sturdy parts and tightly secured joints.
  • Shop at a reputable retailer, one you know and trust.
  • Inspect the condition of second-hand toys and make sure you have the original packaging and instructions.
  • Batteries in toys should be firmly attached and not accessible to children.
  • Listen to toys with noises before purchase to make sure it's appropriate for your child.

Read the Label:

Labels and instructions on packaging can give excellent guidance for safe purchasing decisions.

Toy recall:

Recalls are a critical part of the toy safety chain. Nobody likes to have recalls, but they are the "safety net" used in a robust testing system to get faulty products out of the distribution stream.

Many of the recent toy recalls are the result of extensive ongoing testing and retesting by toy manufacturers, retailers, importers and others as part of an industry-wide effort to help ensure that everything on the shelves this holiday season is safe.

In the rare instances when faulty toys are identified and recalled, the toy company, the federal government and retailers work together in an extensive system to get the affected products off of store shelves fast.

Recall Notices

Parents and others purchasing toys can access a comprehensive list of recalled products through The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)


The best and safest toys are Melissa and Doug

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