November 27, 2007 - Posted at 3:23 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- With millions of toys pulled off the shelves in massive recalls this year...Santa may have trouble finding safe stocking stuffers.
The most common reasons toys won't make it under the tree are dangerous magnets, high levels of lead and small detachable parts. But how have the recalls impacted retailers?
"We had a lot of concerned shoppers in light of everything that is going on with the toy recall. We had a lot of explaining and a lot of encouraging to do, but we were very, very busy and I look forward to continuing that throughout the holiday season," said Mary Horne, owner of J. Christopher Toys.
The flow of customers hasn't slowed any at J. Christopher Toys in Jonesboro. Horne believes this year is set to be a good one...with kids riding high. As parents are searching for the perfect holiday presents to leave under the tree this year, some are using the opportunity to buy all American.
Shopper Debbie Lamb returned her first round of toy Christmas shopping back to the store.
"When I got home I realized that it was all made in china and I decided that I had to start somewhere making a stand against this and I thought today is the day. So I took all of my products back to target and told them the reason why," said Lamb.
Her 4-year-old son will open presents lead free and manufactured in America.
"Not only is it dangerous to our children but its ruining the economy of this country. And if feel that as consumers you have to make a stand. And if we don't do it, then it's not going to ever change," said Lamb.
"Several customers have come in stating the fact that they want U.S. manufactured toys or they want anything manufactured outside of china. and so we walk through the store with the customers trying to explain the different lines that we've pulled in that they might be able to shop from," said Horne.
And for mothers like Lamb, she believes the first step is taking matters into your own hands. "I bought a lead kit test for toys but I don't' think it's accurate so I really don't know what to do except stop buying toys from there," said Lamb.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 20 children died in toy related deaths in 2005. And an additional 152,400 were treated in emergency rooms for toy related injuries.
In addition to choosing safe toys and making sure the toys your kids play with are age appropriate and haven't been recalled, you can help to keep them safe by taking special precautions with the following potentially dangerous toys and toys that include hazardous parts, including:
Magnetic Toys - toys with small magnets, such as the Polly Pocket dolls and accessories with magnets and Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets, should be avoided by children. Unfortunately, if more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can become attracted to each other and can cause a blockage.
Small Parts - toys with small parts are a choking hazard for children under age 3.
Ride-on Toys - injuries from riding toys lead to many toy related injuries, so make sure children wear all appropriate safety gear, including helmets and pads, when playing with ride-on toys.
Projectile Toys - younger children improperly playing with projectile toys, including air rockets and darts, can get serious injuries, including eye injuries
Chargers and Adapters - many children toys now include batteries, chargers, and adapters, and to avoid thermal burns, it is important that adults supervise the use of all chargers and adapters.
Loud Toys - several toys tested by the Public Interest Research Group this year exceeded 100 decibels, which can cause hearing loss