All of this talk of lead-based paint on toys and magnets that easily pop off and could be swallowed made me complete another sweep through my playroom looking for toys to purge. Luckily, the only poisonous culprit in our toy bin was a Go Diego Go utility belt that my son enjoyed but certainly won’t cry over.
I’ve had several parents ask how to purge toys without causing a fuss. There’s an interesting article on Parenting about Taking Recalled Toys Away from children of different ages. As a purge-a-holic, I have my own sneaky ways. Typically, when I’m in the mood for a clean sweep, I wait until the children are at school. I use this time to rid our house of every fast food toy, birthday party goodie bag giveaway and other random plastic-crap toys that have crept into our house. I also take a good look at what they’re playing with on a regular basis, and what hasn’t been touched in a while. If the untouchables are good, quality toys, I pack them away for a little vacation and only pull them back out for a rainy day or if my children request them (or happen to see it while snooping in my closet). A good 80% of the time, they never notice that a toy is gone.
But when it comes to dangerous toys, I’m pretty much tough love. I explain to them that sometimes we find out that some of their toys are not safe. If a piece is going to break off and hurt them or if it’s made with toxic chemicals, it has to go in the trash. No questions asked. Too bad if there are tears. They need to know that we love them, it’s our job to keep them safe, end of story.
I recently heard a story on NPR about the safety of products coming out of China. This story disclosed that a tea manufacturer was caught drying their tea leaves by driving over them inside a closed warehouse with large trucks. Naturally, all of the exhaust of those trucks was also going into the tea leaves. Interestingly enough, China still uses leaded gasoline. Yum…that sounds like tasty brew! Between the toxic toys and tea, I’m about ready to boycott everything made in China. Would that even be possible?