Tainted toys can hurt your kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tainted toys can hurt your kids

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August 18, 2007

Albany -- Emely Rivera's five year old son's favorite television character is also one of his favorite toys. "He likes to play with Diego type of stuff. Trucks, toys, cars and all that boy stuff," said Rivera.

And her son Jacob, like most kids, do more than just play with the toys. "He likes to chew on the hands or the feet. He likes to put it in his mouth,"said Rivera.

But with the massive recall because of lead paint, toys that used to make him smile; could eventually make him sick. "Increased levels of lead could lead to a decrease in IQ, some mental retardation, attention deficit hyperactivity. You can also start seeing some kidney damage," said Dr. James Black.

And that is something that Emely doesn't take lightly. "It's very important, we are talking about our kids here. It's important that we check for safety,"said Rivera.

One of the problems with the lead exposure in these toys is the poisoning doesn't happen all at once. "If you have a low exposure to lead, for instance if you eat a little bit of lead paint at at time, you may not see those symptoms right away," said Dr. Black.

This may make parents complacent. "If the toy companies have made an effort to recall these toys, than parents should make an effort to sort through those toys and see which ones may fall under those categories," said Dr. Black.

The recall has definitely made many think twice about toys. "This is very scary for me and made me double check for next time about what to buy him and what not to buy," said Rivera. 

But staying informed and doing your research will keep your kids safe. A simple blood or urine sample can help determine the lead levels in your child. The good news for parents is that after testing for lead, the results are given back within an hour.

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