Local Doctor Discusses Mattel Toy Recall

By  | 

Another giant toy recall has stores scrambling to pull toys off their shelves and parents digging though toy chests.

Tuesday Mattel took nine million Chinese made toys off store shelves because of lead paint and tiny magnets that can be swallowed.

"You should go through your children's toys to find out if any toys that you have are part of the recall," Dr. Kelly Maedo with the Brazos Family Medicine Residency Program, a branch of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine said. "These things are recalled for a reason because they could be dangerous to your child."

Tiny magnets pose the most risk.
If more than one is eaten, they can attach to each other causing serious problems.

"If they swallow two magnets, the magnets can actually come together in the intestines," Maedo said. "That could cause a blockage in the intestines and it can even put a hole through the intestines and that could be a life threatening injury."

Experts say there is not enough lead paint on each toy to cause harm, but if a lot of lead is eaten, children can get very sick.

"Lead poisoning can cause anemia, which is a low red blood cell count, but also in children high levels of lead can cause mental retardation, learning problems and behavior problems," Maedo said.

Experts say there are stiff regulations regarding using lead in the United States, but there is lighter enforcement in other countries.

So how do you keep your kids safe? First, make sure toys are age appropriate.

A good rule of thumb is if a toy is small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll, it's too small for young children.

Also keep up with recalls, The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists all recalls on its website.

"It's our responsibility to keep our kids safe," Maedo said.