Daycares respond to Mattel toy recall - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Daycares respond to Mattel toy recall

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August 21, 2007

Albany--More bad news for giant toy maker, Mattel.

A Philadelphia law firm has now filed a class action lawsuit against the company over its recalled toys. That recall affects about 9.5 million toys in the United States, and 11 million in foreign countries, causing concern for not only parents but for many daycare providers also.

Daycare providers are taking the recall very seriously by examining all of their toys closely. Toy sets based on popular kids characters have been recalled in recent weeks due to lead paint and small magnets.

From Mattel's Batman action figures to PollyWorld sets, the company's toy recall has caught many local daycare providers by surprise.

"I mean it shocked me at first. It's like oh!" says Stephanie Whitcomb.

"Shock. Shock and amazement." says April Hogan.

Wee-Kare Daycare in Albany has more than 100 toys that its children play with daily.

"The first thing we did is obviously go through our rooms and make sure we have none of these toys in our classroom," says Hogan.

Fortunately, Hogan, her center didn't have any of those toys on the recall list.

"Thank goodness we did not have any here at the center, but we're always checking. These lists are constantly updated," says Hogan.

And parents are constantly asking questions.  "We assure them every day that if it's a safety recall issue, we do not have it in our center because these children come first and their lives are extremely pertinent to us," says Hogan.

"We make sure we have the toy recalls posted. We give a list to the parents. In fact, there's a brochure you can print out on Mattel," says Whitcomb.

Stephanie Whitcomb of Kidsworld is constantly looking out for the safety of her children attending her daycare.

"There's several different safety issues I look at: if it's got sharp edges, if it's got little tires that may come off, anything that may possibly be a choke hazzard. It's extremely important to watch for all those things," says Whitcomb.

You won't find any of the toys her children currently play with on Mattel's toy recall list.

"I don't have anything magnetic. We don't carry a lot of the action figures.  I mostly do all my shopping at Toys R Us. They always got their product recalls posted, and I'm always looking at them," says Whitcomb.

Despite Mattel's toy recall, it won't prevent Whitcomb from purchasing toys from the company in the future.

"I think once they get through this hurdle, I think it'll make they're toys better because I think they'll actually think twice about what they're doing and do more safety checks on their products than they have done," says Whitcomb.

And for parents who fear they may have one of the recalled toys in their possession, Hogan is advising all parents to:

"Go to the manufacturer's website on-line, and check to make sure you do not have any of these toys in your home," says Hogan.

Mattel is promising to destroy the recalled toys responsibly. That lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles wants Mattel to pay for lead testing for children who may have been affected by the toys.

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