Parents: Check Toys for Lead

You may have heard lots of reports about lead paint causing recalls of children’s toys. While federal officials and health experts work to fix the problem, what can you do to keep your kids safe?

First, you can check your child's toys against those listed as being recalled due to lead issues. You can find the toy recall list—dating back to 1973—at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website at www.cpsc.gov/Recalls . You can even sign up for email updates.

If you have toys that have been recalled, don’t throw them out. Take them back to the store where they came from. In some cases, you can get a refund even without a receipt. Check the recall “remedy,” as it’s called, on the CPSC website.

Watch out for secondhand toys

Recalled toys seldom make it back to the stores. Instead they show up at yard sales or secondhand stores. Some are even reclaimed from the trash after well-meaning parents throw them out.

This issue is important for parents and children because lead paint has been found in a wide range of toys. Painted toys made outside the U.S. can often be tainted with lead, as can painted toys made in the U.S. before 1978.

Ingesting lead can harm kids’ development. And any amount of lead in a child's body is unhealthy.. If you find your child playing with a toy that has flaking paint, take the toy away. And ask your child's healthcare provider about testing your child for lead. 

Sadly, kids are exposed to lead in many ways. These include lead paint in their homes and lead in the soil that is around their home.   

Talk to your child's provider about any questions or concerns you may have regarding this condition.