>1. Dora with lead paint
2. Diego with lead paint.
3. SpongeBob Squarepants notebooks with traces of lead.
4. Winnie the Pooh, Thomas the Tank Engine, and who knows what else? — all contain lead.
I could go on, but what’s the point?
It’s the stuff of which late night jokes are made, when their writers are working, that is. Who would believe the sheer number of new recalls in the last six to twelve months? It’s been unbelievable. Simply unreal. No one can blame it on terrorism, either. At least no one at the White House has tried…yet.
My children are no longer children, thank goodness, so I didn’t have to find a way to explain why their favorite toys had to come out of the toy box or their favorite new notebook was better off under the sea. Mine are 15 and 20, and their holiday needs are, well, different from the wish lists of their younger cousins.
So in the spirit of the Twelve Days of Safe Shopping, here are twelve ways I’m considering to help get the lead out of our family’s holiday.
1. Read the boxes. The bags. The packaging.
2. Look for those magic words “non-toxic” on the label.
3. Watch the news.
4. Look for water soluble paints and dyes. Lead isn’t.
5. Give homemade gifts to family and close friends.
6. Know your sources (like Dale and Thomas Popcorn: Mmm. Fresh.)
7. Buy music. Support artists and musicians making their living.
8. Buy clothes.
9. Look for country of origin, buying closer to home whenever possible.
10. Buy fair trade.
11. Buy from local craft fairs and farmer’s markets.
12. Stop buying toys (I can do that; my “kids” are older).
I didn’t need to clean out a toy box with each new recall, but I did wonder about families who did. It had to be difficult to handle with children to young to understand the dangers.
Many sites can give you up to date information on recalls. Try these.
The League of Maternal Justice
Consumer’s Union (Not in My Cart! is their mantra.)
Consumer’s Union’s blog
And finally, if you’d like to join Consumers’ Union in making a difference, check this site, their Safe Shopper movement.
Parent Bloggers Network is chronicling many bloggers who are addressing this topic in today’s blog blast. Find them here.