Fisher-Price Toy Recall: What to Do
Nearly 1 Million Fisher-Price Toys Recalled Because of Lead Paint
"For most American children, their lead level is far below the level that causes rapid onset of symptoms," Geller says. "The average American child's lead blood level is a 2 or a 3, and the level of acute effects is around 50."
Geller and Benitez say children who ingest dangerous levels of lead don't usually show symptoms right away. Over time, a child with high lead levels may complain of tiredness and bellyache. Eventually, school performance declines.
Parents worried about whether their child has a high lead level can get a simple, inexpensive blood test from their pediatrician. Test results usually come back within two days, Geller says.
"The reason for concern is there is no good level of lead in the body," Geller says. "Over the long term, persisting lead levels contribute to worse school performance. So we want to eliminate all the sources of lead exposure we can."
Parents should act immediately to return the toys. Fisher-Price is offering a voucher for a safe replacement toy of the same value.
A spokesman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the agency is investigating whether criminal charges will be brought.
"This is a situation where Fisher-Price brought into this country a banned hazardous product," Scott Wolfson tells WebMD. "For 30 years, there has been a ban on lead accessible on children's toys. What we are concerned about is prolonged exposure of young children from mouthing the surface paint of these toys, which could lead to lead poisoning."
"The law is clear," Wolfson says. "Children should not be potentially at risk of lead exposure."
Any parent who suspects that the toys have injured their child should call the CPSC hotline at (800) 638-2772.
Fisher-Price is owned by Mattel Inc. In a news release, Mattel says it is conducting its own investigation into how its own standards were violated.
"We apologize to everyone affected by this recall, especially those who bought the toys in question," Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel, says in the news release. "We realize that parents trust us with what is most precious to them -- their children. And we also recognize that trust is earned. Our goal is to correct this problem, improve our systems, and maintain the trust of the families that have allowed us to be part of their lives by acting responsibly and quickly to address their concerns."
Mattel has its own recall hotline: (800) 916-4498.