Friday, November 14, 2008

Concerns about Safety of Second Hand Toy Purchases

Government safety officials are concerned that money-conscious parents will purchase holiday gifts from secondhand, online sellers, who may not be aware of safety issues.

In a study published in the journal Injury Prevention, many products recalled years ago including bassinets, strollers, play yards, and various toys are for sale on eBay. Study authors randomly selected about 150 items that were recalled by the CPSC between 1992 and 2004. After tracking them for a month on eBay, researchers found that nearly 70 percent of the goods were eventually sold (despite the site's policy prohibiting the sale of recalled products). It does not appear the sellers are purposely trying to unload dangerous items, says study author Keri Brown Kirschman, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Dayton. "They're just parents trying to recycle old children's stuff and are probably completely unaware that these items have been found to be dangerous."

In 2008, the recalled products included cribs sold as far back as 1995 and toys as old as 1999. Most parents either don't hear about the recalls or don't have the information necessary to know if their products are part of the recall (purchase date, product number, etc.)

Before purchasing from eBay or after purchasing from a second hand store, be sure to enter the purchase in your SmartToyChoice account to check for a previous recall.