I recently did a radio interview with Richard Davies at ABC Radio. Richard commented that I was in a much better mood this holiday season. I do feel lighter this season–after a couple of years of being worried about the safety of toys being marketed and sold to children. The government is continuing to phase in the stricter testing requirements. We are also really pleased that companies across the board are complying with our safety standards (we have taken the end point of the federal regulations and made them a prerequisite for companies submitting toys to us). So yes, I am a whole bunch happier this year. Are there still safety issues? Yes. We still take issue with small pieces that “just” pass the choke tube test…or pull toys that no longer have a safety break-away feature…or wooden toys with splinters…or smelly and excessively noisy toys…you get the idea.
But it is important that we have safety groups that are still spot checking. The CEH (Center for Environmental Health) have recently released some testing that found unsafe levels of lead in children’s products. The non-profit is offering free toy testing in its Oakland office during the holiday season. For more info, visit www.ceh.org/dropintoytesting.
While we do not independently test each toy we review, we do require companies to submit and sign a safety verification form. We looking forward to the day when we no longer need such a form.