The Toy Story – How safe is your child’s toy?

In a recently conducted poll, a good amount of 60% mums and dads have confessed to being worried about their kid’s safety around the toys that he/she plays with. The constant news that kids end up in health hazards related to toys due to the lead content in them can be troubling for most parents. It comes as no surprise that such a huge chunk of them is worried; and how!

kids-toysThe U.S. Government is the only body which can police each and every toy that is being manufactured in the country; and can determine whether or not they are safe and fit for use. Parents also expect the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to help protect the public by not letting the riskier toys reach the shelves. Unfortunately, neither of these 2 bodies have been doing the needful to ensure the safety and protection of the million kids at stake.

Who is doing what to better (or worsen) the situation?

The Government
The government has called in for measures that should help in strengthening the CPSC’s authority; and help make it illegal for companies to resell any products that had been earlier recalled. There have also been talks about issuing a certification for companies that have repeatedly been complying with the safety standards. This sort of a certification would ensure that people bought more toys from this brand, given the fact that they take their job of providing children with safe and fit toys very seriously.

In addition to this, there has been an intensification of the drive against companies that don’t seem to be meeting the target and thus, shouldn’t be encouraged to go onto the shelves with their newer products.

The States
This would mean that the local political leaders are also joining hands to take this initiative further. In some states like Massachusetts, California and Maryland; there have been legislations passed which have put in place stricter rules about lead testing and safety requirements in the case of jewelry and toys that are being produced for kids.  At the moment, around 8 states have laws that completely ban the selling of recalled products.

The Industry
A lot of manufacturers have decided to take matters into their own hands. They have begun issuing voluntary recalls that would ensure no leaks of recalled products and recalling of newer products that don’t fit the ‘safety’ bill. They have also undertaken stricter methods of testing their products and have begun imposing rigorous standards on goods that have been imported.

Although most of these efforts are laudable, it will take a combined effort on part of all 3 – the government, the state and the manufacturers – to come up with a foolproof methodology that will keep a check on the standards of toys that come into the market.

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