Just because a toy is for sale, does not mean it is safe.
Any toy made for children under the age of 12 is supposed to pass third-party safety testing in order for it to make it onto store shelves.
Sometimes after a toy is on the market, a defect is discovered and a recall is issued.
Unless you keep track of every recall ever issued, there’s a chance one of these toys could end up in your house.
Of the 26 toys recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission this year, PIRG, a consumer watchdog group, tried buying 16 of them and successfully found eight of them online, which they were able to purchase and get delivered.
“I am just astonished and appalled at the numbers of recalled products freely available on Facebook Marketplace and eBay,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “I’m just flabbergasted on the absence of any real responsibility on these platforms where they are selling.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics lists choking as the No. 1 way small children die, which is why it should not be a surprise that a choking concern is what led to the October recall of the Early Learning Center Lights and Sounds Shape Shorter.
The red cube can come off, releasing a small white ball that a child could easily put in their mouth.
Two sensory toys made by FAO Schwarz -- the Play Smart Robot Buddy and Wood Sensory Board -- were recalled in April because parts can fall off, which can be a choking hazard for small kids.
And about 3,000 “Activity Loops,” a developmental toy for little ones, were also recalled because parts can fall off. That recall was announced in June.
For older kids, eight versions of the Kid-Oozie Play Tent and Playhouse have been recalled. More than 250,000 of the fabric toys did not meet fire safety standards. Even though it was recalled in July, there are still some online retailers listing them for sale.
You can sign up for recall notices from the Consumer Product Safety Commission for toys and any other products they issue warnings about.
If you want to check for items you’ve bought, every recall issued by the CPSC can be found on its website: cpsc.gov.