Before this year, my priorities in toy-buying were more along the lines of: educational, aesthetic, inspirational, and tolerable.
But this year, like most families, and like most mama-bloggers I know, the Without Fail, Number One Priority is: Safety.
As in: We would love to have some toys that the acts of 'playing with' or 'licking' (in some cases) don't cause long or short-term effects, such as:
"IQ deficits, learning disabilities.., behavioral problems, stunted or slowed growth, and impaired hearing. At increasingly high levels of exposure, a child may suffer kidney damage, become mentally retarded, fall into a coma, and even die from lead poisoning. Lead poisoning has been associated with a significantly increased high-school dropout rate, as well as increases in juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior."
HOLY BATSHIT, George and Thomas!
Yer aSendin Mah Babeez to Jooovey!
There are many rants I could take with this one, but other bloggers are doing a far better job researching and posting.
What I recommend EVERYONE do for themselves this holiday season, before you hand those toys over to the children you love, is to order a lead-test kit.
And test anything made in China.
That's the best advice I could possibly give.
This picture? Is of a piece of candy from Supergirl's Halloween stash. Looked cool. Too cool. Bones with lollipops on the ends of them? Made in? China.
So I tested the lollipop. I can't give conclusive results because it could have possibly been the food dye that turned the swab to it's yellowish, lead-readable indicator. But maybe not, right? I tested two lollies. They both turned yellow-brownish, which, according to the instructions, usually indicates the presence of lead.
Would I take a chance and let my kids suck on one of those?