Many Shopping For American-Made Toys Theresa Marchetta, 7NEWS Anchor
POSTED: 9:35 pm MST November 21, 2007 UPDATED: 12:29 pm MST November 22, 2007
DENVER -- The holiday shopping season is upon us.
Shopping for children has become risky business since millions of tainted toys from China were recalled.
Is it possible to avoid the risk and have a China-free Christmas?
"We have customers coming and saying, 'We don't want anything made in China,'" said Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo and Company Toys in Denver.
She has seen the mark recent recalls have left on the toy industry.
"There's definitely a fear," said Kazoo manager Doris Crennen, "People are saying, 'I only want something made in the USA. I'm only going to let me children play with something that's made in the USA.'"
That may be tough, since 80 percent of the world's toys are manufactured in China.
In fact, if you are shopping at the larger toy retailers, it is very difficult to find any toys not manufactured in China.
At Kazoo and Company, there are several items manufactured in the United States.
There are looms and weaving kits from Vermont, Lauri foam puzzles, Do-A-Dot markers and books, and Beka Blocks and Easels from Minnesota.
"You're spending a little more money, yes, but your child has the toy for four or five years versus six months and you're throwing it away because the plastic broke," said Nelson.
"How do say, you couldn't have this because mommy doesn't know if it is safe?" asked Littleton mother Sue Venturini.
She recently returned several sets of Aqua Dots her daughter had received as gifts, after children in the U.S. and Australia ingested the chemical equivalent of a date rape drug on the coating of the beads in the art kit.
Like many parents, Venturini feels changes need to be made in the way imported toys are inspected.
"When you pick out a toy and it may say made in China, it's probably perfectly safe. But how do you know that and how do you decide?" she said.
Nelson's store has compiled a three-ring binder of vendors and locations of where toys are manufactured.
Lakeshore Learning in Park Meadows also has a variety of toys from the U.S. and other countries.
According to its Web site, the company tests rigorously and the stores have never been impacted by the recent recalls.
The Right Start store in Cherry Creek North says its company hired an outside firm to test every toy for lead.
No matter where you shop, if you want to know where a toy is manufactured, just ask.
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