Safety Tops Black Friday's Holiday Shopping List

With the record number of China-made product recalls, most prominently involving toys containing lead paint, it's no surprise that a new Maritz® poll shows that consumers are especially weary about doing their Christmas shopping this year.

Today, referred to as "Black Friday," is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season. According to the recent poll more than eight out of 10 of those respondents buying toys (82 percent) are aware of the China toy recalls, 77 percent of which stated that it will affect their holiday shopping this year. Among this group:

  • Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) say they will check the label and country of origin of the toy.
  • Nearly one quarter (22 percent) say they will not buy toys from China.
  • Nearly one in 10 (9 percent) say they will only buy American-made toys.
  • Only 8 percent say they will check the recall list.

Gloria Park Bartolone, vice president, Maritz Research's Retail Group, has suggested that retailers improve the customer experience in the toy aisle by: Informing store associates about the recalls and training them to address questions and concerns from customers; creating signage to assure customers that shelves are regularly inspected to ensure toy aisles are "recall-free"; and keeping an updated list of toy recalls on hand for store associates to use as a reference.

Also, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reminds us that even toys that are not recalled can be dangerous if not age appropriate or used safely. Here are CPSC's Top Safe Shopping Tips:

  • Magnets - For children under age six, avoid building sets with small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
  • Small Parts - For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
  • Ride-on Toys - Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be sized to fit.
  • Projectile Toys - Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts, and sling shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.
  • Chargers and Adapters - Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.

Consumers who have already purchased gifts, or wish to plan ahead for future shopping, can make sure their gift lists do not include any recalled products by visiting www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html. For information about all types of recalls, visit www.recalls.gov.

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