It's the holiday season, and if you're reading this blog, odds are you have a little one on your holiday shopping list. Before buying that bright, shiny new toy you're sure they'll love, you may want to check out HealthyToys.org. HealthyToys.org includes test results for more than 1,500 toys and children's products. The site developers describe it as "a first step in providing parents, grandparents, and others who care about children with the information they need to make better choices when purchasing toys and other children's products." Toy rankings and information on chemicals of concern are available, as well as information on what you can do to help prevent the inclusion of toxic chemicals in toys. You can search the toys in the HealthyToys database by product, product code, or manufacturer. You can also use the "Test my Toy" feature to suggest toys and products to be tested and added to the database. Note that a link at the top of the home page allows you to view the site in Spanish. HealthyToys.org is a project of the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
You may notice that I've added a little widget available from HealthyToys.org to the bottom side bar on this blog; it allows you to type in a toy or brand name to check products for lead content. Play around with it and use it to do quick checks on toys you already own, or are considering for your kids.