Melissa and Doug Recall: Barium in Our Stacking Train!

Thank goodness a reader let me know that this train that we have (and is played with regularly) has been recalled in Canada for containing high levels of barium. Apparently barium can cause (according to Health Canada), ” nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps as well as more severe symptoms.”

I’ve never even heard of barium in toys. But I have been a little skeptical about Melissa and Doug toys, of which we have several. One thing I don’t like about them is that many are made in China. I’ve also noticed the paint chips off of many of the toys, and I am not confident the paint is completely non-toxic and safe. I did contact Melissa and Doug awhile back about in toys, and they emailed me about their safety procedures which made feel a bit better.

I was happy that they had never been involved in a recall, but that was until now. I will continue to try to spend any any money on gifts on natural toys and products made in the U.S.A. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting my favorite natural wood toy online shops for your holiday gift giving.

In the meantime, I need to hide the Melissa and Doug train and hope it didn’t harm my little girls.

14 Responses to Melissa and Doug Recall: Barium in Our Stacking Train!

  1. Kathy November 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    Sheesh… just when you let your guard down for a second it seems something else pops up. Yikes.

  2. Stephanie November 18, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    I just purchased this item yesterday!! I can't believe that you posted this the very next day…thank you. I will be returning it along with the other Melissa and Doug item I got.

  3. Sarah November 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    In Canada, this is the second Melissa and Doug recall since August'08. The first was for the Geometric Stacker and now this train. I too was deeply discouraged when Melissa and Doug had their initial recall by Health Canada because when I contacted Melissa and Doug they were not going to be issuing recall notices on their website. I do not buy Melissa and Doug products due to their failure in notifying consumers of recalled products. I believe that if they did it would be excellent corporate good-will especially considering that all of their products are manufactured in China.Thank you and excellent that you post this information. I too blog about toy safety and recall information.We can make a difference,Sarah

  4. Mommy Kong November 18, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    My son got these items as a gift last Christmas. They do not have the accused batch number, should I throw them out anyway? I was thrilled about Melissa and Doug until now.

  5. Cheryl November 19, 2008 at 4:42 am #

    Wow that it scary. We have their music maker set at home & I'll be wondering if we need to toss out the brightly painted maracas. I am very skeptical about wooden toys with bright paint & most toys made by big name brands – I honestly feel like the trust with safety is gone after so many recalls. I own an eco-friendly kid's store so I shop my own (where the toys are all safe materials)or other online natural toy stores whenever I can, rather than take chances anymore. A Melissa & Doug rep was VERY aggressive trying to get us to carry them, but I didn't think they were eco-friendly enough – after hearing this now I'm glad I said no.Cheryl

  6. Megret November 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    We have this train — we've had it for almost 2 years! Does this recall extend to America, as well? If so, what steps do I need to take? (Fortunately, I've never had anything recalled before.)Thanks,Megretmusesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Katy Farber November 23, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    Thanks for your comments. I haven't heard of the recalls extending to the U.S. I am emailing them this week, maybe following it up with a call. I'm wondering what to do with my toys! I can't throw them away, I can't consign them, I'm stuck–

  8. Anonymous December 6, 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    I let my 15 month play with the Shape Sorter (12 pieces set). Later in the day, he vomited and again voted after getting some more food. I'm glad I found this website and will no longer buy this brand. While the timing of the vomiting and playing with the toy may merely be coincidental, it at least made me do some more research on the company. How long of time does it take to be affected by poison from the toys anyway?

  9. Anonymous January 1, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    Oh my word!We received this train as a gift and my son LOVES it! We were so excited to receive our first 'natural' toy and have been showing it to everyone. I felt a little skeptical with the whole 'made in China' thing so decided to look it up. i am blown away…. Thank you SO much for posting this. This is terrifying….(Canadian mama, trying to grow a safe and natural family)

  10. Gisela Hammerstein March 2, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    Hi, I am a very concerned Grandma about toys and recalls. We are living in a very scary time and the health of our little angels are on the hold, because the greed of some speculators. I normally buy in ‘Whole Food’ and so when I saw ‘Melissa and Doug’ toys there I was not concerned about their products. But I really look into everything I buy for my grandkids and discharge when it is done in China or like in the last time you cannot find the origin of the product. I bought a ‘Floor Puzzle’ for my 2 years old grandson and a ‘Wooden Jewelry Box’ for my 4 years old granddaughter. I really was in a hurry so I only checked the puzzle: Made in USA. Great! I was happy to find something made in USA. When I arrived home I was in shock, I found out the ‘Jewelry Box’ was made in China. So I called ‘Melissa and Doug’, they really encourage you to call them, and a very nice person told me they have NEVER had a recall. But something did not feel right, so I made a research in internet (God bless us for having this wonderful eye and mind opening Internet). I was astonished to find out there was not one recall last year, there were two, but not in USA. I called again to ‘Melissa and Doug’ and directly asked “Why they have lied to me?” The connection to a supervisor took too long for be trustfully. Ok, here I was sitting holding the ‘Floor Puzzle’ in my hands and asking myself: “Is the toy made in USA or only the Box?” I cannot trust them anymore, so I will return the toys to ‘Whole Food’ telling them what happen. Thank you! Be blessed to give us all the information!Gisela Hammerstein Fort Lauderdale – Florida

  11. Anonymous March 2, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    I still see that recalled train for sale at two shops in my local mall.

  12. Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Ross, Marshalls, and TJMaxx seem to all carry these toys! I thought I got so lucky finding their Cookie Set until I discovered that it had been recalled for high levels of Barium. Word needs to be spread! Ugh it's unbelievable how difficult it is to stay away from chemicals!

  13. Anonymous October 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I have this toy for my son. He started playing with it almost a month ago. I was just curiously looking this item up because I wanted to see what all the pieces were because I don't have them all as this toy was given to me. Boy am I shocked to find this information. He will not be playing with it anymore as of after I leave this comment. Thanks for sharing. We need to protect our children and ensure they grow as healthy as possible.


  1. Another Melissa and Doug Recall in Canada for Barium (Is it in U.S. toys?) | Non-toxic KidsNon-toxic Kids - May 20, 2014

    […] Remember my post last year about the stacking train? That was also recalled for barium and the woman I spoke with from Melissa and Doug assured me it was from a specific run of the toys, was highly unusual, and didn’t pertain to U.S. markets. […]

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