Over the years there have been a great number of children’s toys put on the market that were dangerous, thereby creating hazards for small children. Many of the hazards were not open and obvious to parents. Unfortunately, not much information was available concerning this problem and a tremendous number of children where either hurt or killed. Fortunately, for the past several years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has done a good job in this area. Now there is another source of information available to parents relating to safety of toys. SafeChild.net has launched a comprehensive, searchable toy recall database. The database, a project of the Consumer Federation of America, is available at www.SafeChild.net. Due to the significant number of recalls dealing with toys for children, this database will be most helpful to parents and others having supervisory or custodial care of young children. According to CFA, the new toy recall database supports the goal of saving the lives of children and reducing childhood injuries. The database will be as “parent-friendly” as possible according to CFA Public Affairs Director Jack Gillis. It will allow quick, easy searches and will let parents spot and avoid potential problems when buying toys. It will also remind them to make the toys in their toy chests safe.

The safe child recall database will allow users to conduct almost any type search of 350 major toy recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or toy manufacturers over the past 12 years. Searches can be made by age of child, type of hazard cited in the recall, type of toy involved, month or year of recall, and manufacturer. As we have learned from experience, most parents believe that all toys on the market have been “tested” and are “safe” and we know for a fact that is not always true. Although there are standards for toy manufacturers, the requirements are only for minimum levels of performance. They also fail to address all known hazards. Hopefully, this new source of information will help save lives. It will also help to make toy manufacturers do a better job on safety when people realize that many unsafe toys are being put on the market.

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