Post Christmas Toy Safey Checklist

(Please forgive my lack of posting for a few days. Our family was stricken with an awful intestinal bug. I’ve been down for the count and it hasn’t been pretty.)

Okay, readers, I know that despite your best intentions, some plastic from China has probably entered your house over the holiday. Maybe even painted wood toys that look good but were made in China. And your little one was rapturous, joyful and in love with the little toy that you have no idea if it is safe.

At least that is what happened in our house.

Just to give you an example, my daughters were given a few toys that are highly suspect, and one that is totally unsafe from loving, generous family members.

One present my youngest received contains lead (as listed by Another is from a company sued by the state of Vermont for a lead paint violation. And two music boxes are directly related (same toy, different animals) to one that was recalled for lead paint.

It is extremely difficult to extract such toys as the kids get older. Of course, my girls fell in love with them. I’m currently hiding the suspect toys until I can return or check them with a lead test kit. But my oldest is already asking where they are!

With this in mind, I offer some ideas about how to check your kid’s toys for safety if you are in the same boat I am.

*All children’s jewelry is highly suspect! Get rid of any jewelry that is not: sterling silver, ceramic beads, or gold. Children have died from acute lead poisoning in cheap trinket jewelry (see the lead link in the categories section for more information on this).

*Check for the specific brand and toy type if it was made in China. Many well known brands (such as Melissa and Doug) have unsafe levels of lead and other toxins.

*If your girls received any children’s makeup, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Safe Cosmetic database. They’ve put together another great guide to safer cosmetics. Lisa at Enviroblog sums it up for busy, sleep deprived parents:

Cosmetic ingredients to avoid:

DMDM hydantoin & Imidazolidinyl urea

Methylchloroisothiazolinone & Methylisothiazolinone

Fragrance and dyes

Parabens or -paraben


Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate

Triclosan & triclocarban

Cosmetic products to avoid:

Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids

Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene, and all dark permanent hair dyes

Liquid hand soaps with Triclosan, aka Antibacterial hand soaps

Nail polish & removers with fermaldehyde

Skin lighteners with hydraquinone”

*Buy a lead test kit at your local hardware store if you can’t find any information on This is what I will be doing on the suspect toys in our house. I know, they aren’t always accurate. But it’s the best I’ve got!

3 Responses to Post Christmas Toy Safey Checklist

  1. John January 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Hi KatyYou may be interested to know that the National Eczema Association has also published a list of ingredients that they recommend avoiding especially if you have sensitive skin or suffer from eczema.This is particularly useful for parents of children with eczema as many well known brands contain potential irritants.The have also started to review and rate a number of products that are targeted at eczema sufferers.Their site is at

  2. Anonymous January 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm #

    Who ever thought toy buying would get so hard. We have a two year old and look for American made or European made toys. A good website to check out for a good selection is

  3. Spongebob Games August 1, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Thanks to given the important information.I will take care before buying any toy.

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