As a follow-up to my plastic toy rant on August 3, I wrote a column for today’s edition of the Ledger-Enquirer that includes more specific information about lead safety concerns in children’s toys. Go here to read the full column.
In it, Patty Davis, a spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, recommends going here and signing up for recall announcements. Since the commission announces about 400 recalls a year, spare yourself an e-mail overload by choosing the categories that concern you (child and infant products is one option).
For information about lead paint in homes and getting your children’s blood lead levels tested go to this EPA site or this CPSC site.
Also, in a comment after that August 3 post about the Mattel toy recall, Kevin, who’s a much more conscientious consumer than me, recommends this Web site for finding made-in-the-USA products. If you’re shopping for kids, they sell mostly Holgate and Maple Landmark wooden toys.
An afterthought: After that August 3 plastic toy tirade, my mom started defending plastic to me. “Everything in moderation,” she says. And she’s probably right. In fact, as much as I favor Will’s little wooden farm man, woman and cow, he tends to spend a lot more time with his other little plastic people and animals. They’re colorful and easy to maneuver and they inspire lots of creative play in him. So most of his toys are plastic, and most of them will be staying, although I still do intend to clean out some of the lesser-loved junk at some point. I'm also feeling inspired to buy a couple wooden toys for Will's birthday, and I’ll be on a more vigilant lookout for recalls from now on.