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Worried about the safety of your kids’ toys? Join the club.

Even if you haven’t had to take Thomas, Dora or Elmo away from your little one, you’re probably questioning whether the toys that he or she is playing with are safe. As parents, we’re all wondering what toys might be included in the next toy recall.

And there’s that lingering fear that our children are at risk for lead contamination every time they pick up a toy that’s made in China.

As most parents are aware, it’s the presence of lead paint that is fueling the recalls. Lead is banned in paints in the United States, but most children’s toys are now manufacturered in China, which doesn’t have the same standards. As a result, Fisher Price, Mattel and other toy companies are discovering that imported toys contain unsafe levels of lead, which can cause headaches, hearing problems, behavior problems and even brain damage in children.

There have been several toy recalls over the last few months, affecting hundreds of toys, and it can be quite a task to weed through which toys are safe and which ones have been recalled.

To help ease parents’ confusion and anxiety over which toys are safe for children, the Chicago Tribune offers some good pointers regarding safe holiday toy shopping.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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