Free from school life for a week, post-holiday bliss for children means being able to enjoy their new goodies. Here are some tips on how to make sure that your children’s toys are safe.
Recall Lists – Find Recalled Toys
Before the holiday season is even well underway, the toy recall lists start to grow. There is no other time of year when toy manufacturers can expect the sales they receive during the holidays – but the mass amounts of people buying their products also means that if there’s a problem with a particular toy, they must act fast to make sure that there aren’t hundreds of children hurt.
Luckily, there is help. Take just a few minutes to jot down what toys your children have received, and then hit the following websites. If something is potentially dangerous, you’ll find out quickly here and breathe a bit easier.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission – Maintained by the federal government, you can search these archives clear back to 1975 (though you probably wouldn’t want to!). http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html
Toy Recall Checklist – Also maintained by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, this page will keep you up to date with all the toys that have been recalled specifically through the holiday season. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml03/03044.html
Live and Learn – This site provides an easy-to-use toy recall list that is broken down by the month. http://www.liveandlearn.com/recalls.html
Recalled Toys – What to Do
When you discover that one of the toys your children’s been playing with has been recalled, take a breath and read the following tips so that you know what to do next.
First, check the recall listing. For example, this recall was issued in 2003:
Cosco “Arriva” and “Turnabout” Infant Car Seats/Carriers (1,200,000) distributed by Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. When the seat is used as a carrier, the plastic handle locks can unexpectedly break or release from the carrying position, causing the seat to unlatch or flip forward. When this happens, an infant can fall to the ground and suffer injuries. Dorel Juvenile Group has received 416 reports of the handle locks breaking or unlatching, resulting in nine injuries to children. Consumers may continue to use the product as a car seat but should stop using it as a carrier. Call Dorel at (800) 880-9435 to get a free repair kit, or go to www.djgusa.com.
If you take a look at the very last line, which I’ve highlighted with bold text, you’ll notice that the last line gives you the information you need to get a repair kit.
If the recall listing doesn’t provide you with the information you’re looking for, then go through your receipts. Stores like Wal-Mart, for example, have a 90 day return policy on most items. However, if one of the products that they have sold is on a recall list, they will work with you on replacement of the product outside of the return policy.
Reporting Dangerous Products
Unfortunately, it’s not usually the companies that find the problems with a product. Instead, it’s up to the consumers to report dangerous products and product-related injuries.
To report a dangerous toy or a toy-related injury, call the Consumer Products Safety Commission at (800) 638-2772, or visit their website at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html