A study that looked at 200 used toys collected from homes, charities and from second hand shops showed that 20 of 200 toys contain all the nine chemicals that were tasted-some with very high levels that exceed the safety labels as described by the European Council’s Toy Safety. The study that was published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal showed a number of the toys tested contained chemicals like selenium, chromium and lead which are highly hazardous. The objective of the research was to find out if older, plastic second-hand toys have any safety risk to children by containing any hazardous chemicals.
Such toys that have high levels of one or a combination of chemicals then it will be “chronically toxic” when the child chews it for a prolonged time. The safety concerns don’t come from the physical features of the toys but from the chemical content which will pose a risk when chewing or when put in the mouth.
So are they safe?
We buy second hand toys because they are cheaper. When comparing different Power Wheels for girls for instance, you can find that even the lowest priced is still expansive than the second hand ones. when you really want to go for second hand then follow this advise
Older toys haven’t gone through the current rigorous safety checks and they also lack the age recommendations so you will go for guesswork. Try to guess right or compare with the new ones to get the age recommendation.
Many LEGO bricks from the 1970’s and 1980’s especially the red, yellow and black bricks usually have high levels of the hazardous chemicals so it would be safe for you to keep off them.
Take extra care when you buy toys with small parts especially those that come off. eyes are the most notorious parts of a toy since they are small sized s when they can come off when the baby puts them in the mouth, they can cause a risk of choking your child.
If the paint used on the toys is lead based then you should try to avoid them as much as you can especially when the paint is flaking.
Be aware that toys that have clothes are most likely to be flammable.
Take extra precaution on toys that use batteries. Try to see if you can access the batteries so that you can check their condition and replace the batteries if it is necessary. If the batteries are secured with a screw then you need to ensure that the screw can turn and it has not rusted. When you find out that the battery had corroded then you should throw both the toy and the battery away.
The second hand toys should have symbols to ensure that they were made by genuine brands no matter how old it is. Two symbols are found on toy labels; the Lion Mark that was introduced by the British Toy and Hobby Association and the CE Mark that has the name and address of the responsible supplier. This ensures the toy’s quality and safety.