Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playing With Fire

Last year I blogged about an amazing nonprofit group that runs a website called www.healthytoys.org. Through private donations, Healthy Toys accepts suggestions from it's readers as to which toys to test for safety. No safety tests being quietly sponsored by toy companies. This group is completely in it for the kids.

Healthy Toys hadn't updated it's database in quite some time. Now it's back and better than ever. Thank you!!

Please take a minute to look-up your gifts before you give them to a child you love. You can also look-up the toys you already own. Be prepared to completely freak out and feel abused by the toy industry. I personally have freaked out on a couple of occasions after searching (and finding)toys that the family owns.

It's rocks and sticks for the kids again this Christmas.

The toys being tested by Healthy Toys aren't obscure toys that you've never seen. This list plays out like the who's who of every playroom across the country.

On the Healthy Toys site, I like to search by type of toys. "Vehicles" is always my first step. Those millions of tiny little cars and trucks that Little Guy lives for can't be that bad. Right?


Unfortunately there are literally thousands and thousands of little vehicles out there and Healthy Toys can't test them all. What do I do? Toss them like I did to Girlie's PVC-laden baby dolls? Hope he grows-up and outgrows them soon (never!)?

For one quick example on one of the hundreds of toys you can find on Healthy Toys, peak around to see if you have a Leapster 2 hanging around the house. If so, then you also have dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic with lower levels of bromine, chromium and mercury tossed in too.

If you knew these facts before you bought this educational game system, would you still have purchased it? Would you allow your kids to touch these poisons? Breathe them in? What do you do now that you've already spent your hard-earned money?

What do we do when toy companies have two production lines? One for the EU and one for the kids of the US? What do we do? Why aren't we fighting for our kids a little louder?

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