Buddy is a big fan of trains and for awhile, he was obsessed with the Thomas and Friends trains. He still likes them, but he doesn't live and breath them anymore. We've got our fair share of Thomas trains around here and if you've got kids, you've undoutedly heard, some trains have been recalled because the trains' paint contains LEAD, which is TOXIC to children.
This entire situation is so strange to me. First of all, these trains are not cheap. Before any discounts, they cost between ten and 20 dollars each -- and you usually have to buy them at specialty toy stores. Targ.et and Walm.art don't carry them. I would understand a lead scare if the toys came from the dollar store, but obviously that's not the case. Secondly, it's 2007. Why are we still using lead paint?
Oh wait, these toys were made in China.
I ran across a newspaper article that said all 24 of the toys recalled this year so far were made in China. When I read that, it reminded me of an interesting and timely coversation between Buddy and I a couple of weeks ago.
Buddy also loves dinosaurs. Some of the nicer brands have a label on the bottom of the dinosaur that says what kind of dinousaur it is. He's got quite a few cheaper ones, though, that simply say "Made in China" on bottom. He'll hold up a dinosaur, ask me what kind it is, I'll look at the bottom and tell him "Allosaurus" or whatever. But if it says "Made in China," I'll tell him that. Well, he got this new little toy butterfly and asked me what kind of butterfly it was. I had no idea, so he turned it over, read the bottom himself and said, "I think this is 'Made in China.'"
At the time I thought that was pretty funny. But the past few days I've started to think that far too many of our children's toys are being made in China. My little three year-old who can't read a darn thing except the phrase "Made in China" kind of made that obvious.
And if that's not scary enough...
Here's another scary situation for children. We enjoyed a VERY enjoyable weekend in Seattle with some good friends. We did a lot of fun things, including going to Pikes Market. It was really crowded like usual, especially since produce is fabulous now, the weather was perfect, and it was Saturday. If you've been there, you know how crowded it gets around that world-famous fish throwing booth. Right outside that area, a man sat, apparently hoping to make balloons for children. The area directly around this man was completely desolate because WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD LET THEIR CHILD TALK TO HIM? My gosh, I hate to be rude, but this dude really creeped me out. Even my son who will talk to anybody, walked by without asking for a balloon and said, "Mom, is that guy a pirate?"