Top tips for finding lead in children’s toys
Lead in children’s toys is a hazard and an ongoing concern for parents. If you’re confused about which toys are safe and want to know how to avoid dangerous toys, follow these tips.
1. Don’t buy metal jewelry —
About 20% has high levels of lead underneath the surface coating of paint. Children who put the jewelry in their mouths are at risk.
2. Test toys yourself —
The best kit for testing is the Homax Lead Check and the Lead Inspector. Both of these kits are easy to use and can detect lead in toys, dishware, vinyl and plastic. For under $20, neither kit is expensive and is well-worth the money to keep your child safe.
3. Don’t buy no-name toys that you find at dollar stores, street fairs, and vending machines–
Most of these toys are cheaply manufactured which means the odds are good that lead was used in the paint. It’s just a good idea to avoid these purchases when possible.
4. Be wary of any toy manufactured in China, including name brands–
Check to see if the toy is safe by checking for recalls before purchasing. Again, while not always the case a little research goes a long way. Recently, in the news, toys manufactured in China were involved in massive recalls. It’s better to check now than regret the purchase later.
5. Don’t buy permanent paints and markers for children–
Permanent paints and markers are most likely to contain lead. Buy water-based paints instead to be sure there is no lead in the paint.
6. Check current list of recalled toys–
Check for government issued toy recalls and for recent and current toy recall updates Not in My Cart is another great source. You can find updated lists of current toys that are being recalled due to safety reasons including lead.
7. Avoid brightly colored toys–
Toys that are most likely to have lead are brightly painted items because lead is used as an inexpensive pigment.
By being alert and aware of the problem, you can become an expert at spotting lead in children’s toys. Use these tips the next time you purchase toys for your children and help keep them safe.