The toy industry spends an estimated $300 million a year on safety testing and inspection of toys, and approximately three billion toys are sold in America each year issued last year. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), less than 20 percent of recalled toys make it back to the manufacturer for proper disposal or repair.
The hot topic this holiday season for many parents and relatives of children is a trust issue – which brands and what toys can I trust? There is plenty of reliable information available about toy recalls, and BBB urges everyone who will be giving or donating toys this year to take a few minutes and become a safe toy shopper.
If your gift list has toys on it, the BBB has the following advice to ensure that the toys you give are safe:
• Find out which toys have been recalled - The CPSC keeps a list of recalled toys on their Website at www.cpsc.gov. The Toy Industry Association also provides extensive information on toy safety and you can scroll through photos of recalled toys in an easy-to-use index on their Website www.toyinfo.org.
• What to do if you have purchased a recalled toy - The CPSC negotiates the specific resolution over a recalled toy with the toy manufacturer – usually resulting in a refund or an exchange for a different toy. Check with the CPSC Website for the specific resolutions for the recalled toy you’ve purchased. If you purchased the toy from a retailer, try returning the item to them first to potentially save yourself the time it will take to deal directly with the toy manufacturer. Major toy outlets often have their own return policy for recalled toys.
• Be careful when shopping online - Most large stores are quick to pull recalled products off the shelf, and, as a secondary precaution, flag the bar codes so if the item is scanned at checkout the cashier knows to not let you purchase the item. While online auction sites or bulletin boards may have policies against selling recalled toys, according to researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children’s Hospital, recalled toys and other unsafe products are often being sold to unknowing parents. It’s very important to check with the CPSC and the Toy Industry Association before buying a new or used toy or product for children online.
Toy Recall Hotlines
• Consumer Products Safety Commission: (800) 638-2772
• Toy Industry Association: (888) 888-4TOYS
• Mattel: (800) 916-4498
• Fisher-Price: (800) 991-2444
• Toys R Us: (800) 869-7787