A Message about Dolls and Toy Safety
Addie and I, as owners of the Pattycake Doll Company and BestDollsForKids.com, want to assure you that the dolls and toys we sell are safe.
But you need to help us by following the number one rule for toy safety: make sure that you buy the right doll for the right age.
All of our products come to us certified by the manufacturers for age safety, and we're pretty careful to write these age recommendations into our copy. You'll see phrases like "Safe for all Ages," or "Safe for ages 18 months and older," etc.
Unless specifically marked differently, you should assume the doll is meant for three years or older.
Both The US and Europe have toy safety standards that our dolls must meet, and we're happy to tell you that in over 15 years of doll sales we have never had any of our dolls recalled. Here's some of what those standards cover:
- Small parts are subjected to the choke test and the warning looks like this:
WARNING! Choking hazard: May contain small parts, not for children under 3 years.
What else do our manufacturers have to do?
- Test the cloth dolls and their polyester fill for flammability,
- Make sure that any plastic pellets are safely contained in beanbag inserts.
- Eyes, buttons and other 'attachments' are tested for pull strength, and most use a large safety set fitting that helps prevent the eyes getting pulled through the fabric.
- Strings and ribbons are kept short, generally less than 11" long.
- You'll notice on many learn-to-dress dolls with laces that the ends are unfinished or knotted
- Phthalates - a plastic softener - have been banned for all toys that might go into a child's mouth, that includes dolls of course, so none of our dolls contain them.
There are things that you as a parent can do as well. For instance children who are older than three, but still putting items in their mouths should be still using the three year old age safety rules.
Another example: that tube of cardboard that comes inside toilet paper is roughly the same size as a baby's throat. If you can place the toy inside a toilet paper tube, don't let the a child play with it unsupervised. (the actual measurement used by the Consumer Product Safety is 1 1/4")
The industry uses all sorts of toy safety testers; here are some of our small parts, choking testers, small balls and baby rattle handle testers
Got older children's dolls in the house? You're not going to be able to keep the younger kids from wanting to play with them, so just be aware of it. Pay attention. Supervise.
Just like you check Halloween Candy before you let your kids eat it, check the toys that are given as gifts at baby showers or birthday parties are age appropriate too.
But mostly, toy safety is just plain common sense. There's probably never going to be any issues, because today's dolls are - for the most part - really pretty safe.
You put medicines in child safety capped bottles, you cover electric sockets, you use safety latches and baby gates. So read the tags, check dolls every so often for loose parts and best of all... get down on the floor and play with your child!!
If you would like more information on toy safety, please visit the official site of the Toy Industry Association here. You will be leaving our site.