Keeping You Safe: Changes in Law for Toy Safety

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- After millions of toys were pulled from store shelves last year Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor said it was time to get the lead out.  He pushed through a bill banning lead-based toys in America.  That law goes into effect next month.

The new law goes into effect on February 10, 2009.  It makes it illegal to manufacturer, import, or sell toys that have 600 parts per million of lead.

While this new law does guarantee that new toys you buy at the store made before or after February 10 are safe for your kids the same exact rules don't apply to those who resell toys.

The new safety law doesn't require that resellers test toys that come in to their stores.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission said they can't sell toys that have too much lead.  This change and the legal ramifications that resell stores could face is cause for concern for Tippy Toes owner Debbie Haynes.

"Occasionally when they have the recalls I do worry but I think I'm just going to quit selling them," said Haynes.

Haynes said the testing would be too expensive to do on every toy that comes into her shop.  For her, the risk is just not worth it.

"The main concern is the safety of the children so I'm just not going to carry the toys if that's any danger to the children," said Haynes.

Jennifer Smith has 18 month old twins and doesn't want to take any chances with their safety.

"Anything that could be dangerous or iffy, I personally don't want to have it in my home," said Smith.

Since thrift or consignment stores do not have to get the products tested they have to use their own judgment not to take in toys that could contain lead, a risk some say is too high.

"I would not at this point, due to them being so young.  They're at that age where they don't know what could harm them and they just put anything in their mouth," said Haynes.

Since her store is mostly clothing, Haynes said she doesn't think this change will have a big impact on her store.  It's also a change many parents are glad to see is finally here.

Resell stores that do continue to sell toys that aren't tested for their lead quantity will still be held to the changes in the law that this will make.  Resellers that do sell toys that violate the new law could face civil or criminal charges.