It seems the bolts on a few of the Fisher price high chairs are faulty and the key on the top of a certain hot wheels car is causing injuries to little girls (Lee Ferran). I shudder to think of the kinds of injuries they’re receiving.
As the mother of a toddler, I’m a major consumer for Fisher Price. It’s the first name that comes to mind when the time comes for shopping for new toys, something that is hardly a rare occasion as my toddler grows. Finding the toys that make a huge, and positive, impression isn’t always easy.
Most frustrating of all are the numerous recalls.
Fisher Price is an icon
Fisher Price, part of the much larger toy company Mattel, earned the trust of parents back in 1930 with a line of only sixteen wooden toys. Since then, Fisher Price has become a multi billion dollar empire within an empire.(Bryan Greenburg) Ask any parent for a list of toy brand names, Fisher Price may well top the list.
I don’t think that’s likely to change. After all, this is a voluntary recall by the company, not one forced by law suits. It’s safe to assume there will be law suits. If handled correctly, Fisher Price will accept responsibility, issue apologies and possibly payments, then go on its merry way as a top contender for parent’s dollars.
Parents should stay current and observant when buying toys
This is all well and good, so long as parents remain informed. Intelligent parents and child caregivers should keep recall.gov and CPSC.gov on favorites lists and in conversation. An amusing point to help parents remember to check government sites for recalls: Mattel makes the stock for the military’s M16 assault rifle. It’s also helpful to check the Fisher Price Web site for current recall information on their toys.
Still, many toys are purchased on the fly. Not many parents want to rush to the nearest Internet source and Google the names of toys before purchasing. Most have no particular love for returning to stores after a toy has been purchased.
One way to avoid this is to stop buying toys on the fly. With the current state of the economy, a reasoned approach to purchasing makes more sense. Sometimes, it’s tough not to grab that special item while it’s on sale and on the shelf.
How does a parent know which toys are safe? Many parents rely on product labels, especially those suggesting appropriate ages, to tell them if a toy or product is safe for their children. Others rely on the popularity of brand names like Fisher Price. These are of little use if the assumed “safe” toys hit recall lists.
Toy safety checkpoints
Besides checking recall lists and labels, parents should consider a few easy tips for checking toy safety.
Check for sharp edges and pieces that stand out significantly far from the main body of the toy. Many a little girl has been impaled by an upward pointing piece of plastic or metal on an otherwise safe toy.
Check for small parts and easily detachable pieces. If it comes off easily and fits into the mouth, rest assured the toddler will take a taste.
Make sure paint does not flake from the toy. Some dollar stores carry very low quality toys. Be sure the safety factors outweigh the price before you buy. Even if the paint isn’t lead based, it may be a choking hazard if children can pull it off in strips. Ditto detachable pieces.
If the toy requires assembly, be sure all pieces fit snugly and do not wobble. If a child can fit a finger between one part and another, they almost certainly will.
Know your child. Some toys labeled for children under three may be inappropriate for a particular child. If your child is precocious, he or she may find a way to make that toy hazardous.
Remember the climb factor. Even older children have occasion to climb on toys not meant to handle their weight. Supervision is key.
Fisher Price, and Mattel, have been trusted names for more than eighty years.
Anthony Enriquez. The Baby Corner. Cracking Down on Toy Recalls
Lee Ferran. Massive Fisher Price Recall: More Than Ten Million Toys. ABC News.
Bryan Greenburg. The Science of Santa. How one small town and one big company – and a bunch of kids – decide what gifts you’re giving this year.