Mattel recall rocks my world
By now, you've probably heard all about Mattel's recall of over a million toys that contain lead paint. When I first heard the Mattel recall news early this morning in between half-waking nursing sessions, I got a dull ache in my stomach. When I got up and looked at the list of affected toys in the paper today, well, I wanted to throw up. J0343 Go Diego Go Antarctic Rescue ... J0345 Go Diego Go Mountain Rescue ... J6762 Queen Mami ... J6765 Prince Diego ... it's as if someone took an inventory of my children's favorite toys. (In addition to Dora and Diego toys, Elmo, Ernie, Zoe and the rest of the Sesame Street gang are also well-represented in the list.) That's a lot of lead.
For months now, my husband and I have been musing about whether we should institute a family ban on products made in China; we just can't be sure that any of these things are safe. The recent discoveries have us sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. After all, Mattel is a big company with a brand name in need of protection -- what about those toys sold on the seasonal aisle at WalGreen's? I hardly think anyone's busy checking the lead content in the Barbie Princess inflatable balls and knockoff Play-Doh. What if... urggh.
While I go around the house collecting these precious objects, I think: is it time to collect everything and switch entirely to wooden and handmade toys? I'm certainly about ready to throw up my hands in distress. My heart aches when I think of the fallout should I discover that the die-cast Thomas trains from Target have lead paint, too (my worst nightmare). If only I'd never developed the love affair my sons have with these dangerous things.
We've called our doctor's office and elected to get a lead test (with our pediatrician, Dr. Vestergaard, we can just go to the lab at Broadway Medical Clinic anytime and get the test), although she said the risk isn't huge. I doubt my kids will be greatly affected (physically) but I've lost all trust for the toymakers, and that feeling in the pit of my stomach keeps getting achier.