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Ask the Pediatrician

Dr. Jennifer Shu and her team of pediatricians answer your health questions.

Dr. Jennifer Shu

Question & Answer

Question

How can I tell if a toy has lead paint or is made of lead?

Answer

​Toys are not all routinely tested for lead. Many toys are imported from countries with poorly enforced safety rules by companies that do not test the toys before selling them.

The AAP advises parents to monitor the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site for notices of recalls and to avoid nonbrand toys and toys from discount shops and private vendors.

Old and used toys should be examined for damage and clues to the origin of the toy. If the toy is damaged or worn or from a country with a history of poor monitoring of manufacturing practices, the safest action is to remove it from use. Be particularly attentive to costume jewelry and other small metal pieces that can be swallowed.

Source: Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)