Friday, November 09, 2007

Sorry Toys, You are Under Arrest

I'm dreaming of a lead-free Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know. Where the kids aren't eating Aqua Dots.... Come on sing along everybody! It's real catchy! Maybe if we make up a little ditty about all the recalled products we can easily remember them right? Wait. That would be about a 56 hour song at this point.

This blog blast topic could not have come along at a better time. Already our house is mired in catalogs selling various holiday wares to my kid and I. At the same time I can't get through an episode of 'Without a Trace' without a few stories about MORE toy recalls flashing at the bottom of the television screen. It is besides the point to say this makes me angry. Toxic glue? Lead paint? Toys coated in the same junk that goes into a date-rape drug? What is happening here? Why is this happening? I have no answers or toy alternatives because the solutions I keep thinking up keep getting recalled.

What I do know is that I'm frustrated. This is T.D.'s second Christmas, one she'll actually be excited about, and yet I am having the hardest time trusting myself into buying anything for her. It makes me mad, sad and just all around Scrooge like. This isn't like me either. I'm not one to freak out over every news story or run around like Chicken Little. I almost bought that Fisher Price kitchen two days ago and now it's being recalled. I don't think I'll be doing any catalog shopping either because I can't read the labels. It's too bad too because not only do I loathe going out into the holiday fray but I trust the big box stores even less than the catalogs and online companies.

After talking with my mother yesterday we are going the only route we know. We will be looking up items here at the Consumer Union Safe Shopper Guide. They have a complete list of not just toy recalls but all the 2007 recalls and a friendly section on where to go for some nice safe alternatives. Those beaded necklaces made in my home state (Shame Lil'Rhody!) won't be making their way into my house. The cute plastic dish sets made in China? Sorry, not on my watch. It is as if I have to put T.D.'s toys under house arrest. I'm now the warden for not just the ones that have managed to snake their way in already, but for all the ones that might arrive this holiday season. Like we parents don't have enough to worry about.

It is not all negative though. The one positive about this whole recall ordeal is that it is stopping me from blind consumerism. I find myself having to really think about what I'm purchasing. That is a good thing. A lot of needless stuff that might as well end up with the wrapping paper debris won't be purchased. Instead I'm favoring old classics like coloring books, non-toxic paints and crayons for T.D. this year. We're purchasing an easel and chalkboard and books. At least I don't have to worry about the Barenstain Bears trying to slip my kid something harmful or her choking. It's pretty hard to choke on the spine of a book.

So before you head out to do your holiday shopping be it in the stores or online be sure to do your whole family the favor of reading the recall list and the safer shopping guide from the people who bring you Consumer Reports. They won't steer you wrong.


  1. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Easy solution, Buy American, these colors don't run.

  2. If only it were that easy. While things may be assembled here they don't always solely made in the US. Especially paints and plastics. Labels don't always depict their true 'colors' either.

  3. It is just shocking.
    But you are right, I am adopting the More is Less mantra thanks to this.

    My entry is here :)

  4. Clever post. I'm dreaming too. But I do like the idea of more is less. My kids play with the boxes anyway, so maybe they won't notice.

  5. Anonymous12:25 AM

    Is a nice post. But I used to buy toys for my kids from 'Disney Shopping' store at CouponAlbum site.


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