Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Toys safe, child centers report

September 18, 2007

Even though Marie Childers didn’t have a list of the toys recalled nationally over the past three months, she was fairly certain the children at Kidz Time were safe from lead paint.

More than 12 million toys have been recalled by Mattel and Fisher-Price because of safety concerns, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. All of the products were imported from China.

Childers, a director of Kidz Time, said most of her toys are bought through wholesalers who specialize in child care centers and don’t sell to the general public. The rest are bought at chains such as Wal-Mart. She hadn’t checked the toys at the center because she didn’t know where to find the information about the recalls.

“You hear about it on the news and you just go on with your day,” Childers said.

When she had a chance to look over the list from the CPSC, Childers was relieved that her assumption was correct. None of the toys were on the list, which included more than 5 million toys with high levels of lead, or the 7.3 million Polly Pocket playsets with small magnets that children could swallow.

Most of the toys for Kidz Time and the Marysville Joint Unified School District’s child care centers are bought from catalogs and companies that focus on education and test the products thoroughly.

Companies such as Lakeshore Learning Materials, which provides learning toys for kids, imports some of its products from China. In an open letter to customers, company president Bo Kaplan said that none of the toys in the recall were distributed by Lakeshore because of its “rigorous safety standards.”

The combination of low prices, product guarantees and high safety precautions are what helped keep MJUSD’s child care centers from buying any of the recalled items, said Kathy Woods, director of child development programs.

“It ensured the children in our program were only playing with safe toys and not anything on the list,” Woods said.

For more information on future recalls and to sign up for e-mail alerts, visit

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