Consumer Alert: making sure toys are safe

NATIONAL (WIS) - Last week we told you about a massive recall by Mattel that left many parents having to throw out tainted toys and wonder what you could buy as replacements.

So what can parents do to make sure the toys they are buying are safe?

They are favorites for so many little ones -- Dora the Explorer, Elmo, and other Sesame Street toys. And we've talked to many parents who just asked, these days what is safe? 
While there are no guarantee, there are some important tips to reduce your risk.

"Most of his collection is from those things and it's after the fact now," said father Lou Papa.

Parents are fuming after this massive Fisher-Price recall. 
"The old Fisher-Price toys, they're terrific. You don't have to worry about them. Today, it's a shame you have to buy products and worry about them," said mother Cecela Niclosi.

Are there any toys these parents can trust like they used to?

"You can not look at a toy and know it has lead paint on it," said Tom Kline, of Kline and Specter.

Tom Klein is an advocate for victims of tainted toys, and at the Happy Hippo toy store, he says there are ways to reduce your child's risk, first by being sure the product reaches recognized safety standards.

"If a toy is made in a country that does not meet industrialized standards, such as European
standards, which are principally and generally satisfactory, as well as United States' standards, then you should be wary," Kline said.

Next, learn to read those labels.

"To see if there's an organization that approving and certifying the product, in particular toy products, you go to that organization's website and see if it is legitimate," says Kline.

And finally, be wary of those bargain toy products at low prices.

"If you're buying something for 99 cents and it looks like a toy that you may pay 10 dollars for, you can be confident that toy is likely to be counterfeit or bogus or have some kind of safety problem," Kline finished.

But for the mom of two girls who gaggle over a toy for sale, where the product is made doesn't stop them from begging to take it home.

"The last thing you want to do is buy something fun for your child and wonder are they going to be hurt by this," mother Kate Costa said.

Experts say more than 80 percent of toys are made in China so even with these tips you will be challenged to please your kids at the same time.
In the future, experts say the key will be to pressure government to institute safety standards for china that match what we have in the US and Europe.

Reported by Craig Melvin

Posted by Logan Smith