Shoppers Urged to Exercise Caution in Buying Toys


The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), is advising shoppers to exercise extreme caution as they go out to purchase toys this Christmas, following the recall of several Chinese-made products throughout the year.
Speaking with JIS News, Communication Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, informed that millions of toys have been recalled by Fisher-Price, Mattel, and Marvel, because of the high lead content in paint used in the manufacturing process.
“This was a bumper year for the recall of toys. It started last summer and continued into this year,” Miss Campbell pointed out, noting that the toys were reportedly “unsafe, way above the levels in lead paint.they had parts that were unsafe for children, battery operated things were burning children, had exposed wires and some of these toys were not approved.”
Toys included on the recall list were popular cartoon characters, such as Elmo, Ernie, Big Bird and all the other Sesame Street characters; Dora the Explorer; musical toys; key boards, and shakers.
“Even though the Bureau of Standards has not reported any of these toys being in the island, we know that informally, these toys can get here,” Miss Campbell noted.
“We are very nomadic and when we travel, we tend to pick up the latest items .so, although the Bureau of Standards does its formal checks at the ports, the CAC is also aware that a parent, aunt, godmother or whomever, might be carrying one of these items in their suitcases and unwittingly offers it to a child,” the Communication Specialist pointed out.
She stressed the need for persons to thoroughly inspect toys before making purchases, warning that toys should not be bought because they are cheap, as several of them are substandard.
“They (the toys) have parts that fall apart before you even deliver them, with sharp edges that are dangerous to small children,” she outlined, emphasising that parents must ensure that the toys are safe, before they are given to the children.
Highlighting the harmful effects of lead, she pointed out that “the danger to the child is not just simply that he’s going to have a little episode of lead poisoning and you take him to the doctor and he gets a bottle of medicine and he is fine, but it can cause developmental problems in your child.”
She informed that learning disabilities, signs of aggression, intolerance to food and weight loss, are all associated with lead poisoning.
The Communication Specialist also advised parents to take extreme caution when purchasing bicycles. “We want to ensure that you choose one that is safe, so it is advisable to take the child to the store, make sure they feel comfortable sitting on it and they can reach the bars comfortably, without stretching,” she advised.
She also stressed the importance of including a helmet, noting that this is a protective gear that prevents head injuries.

JIS Social