Barry Smith is a safety inspector for the state’s Consumer Services Division and he’s on a mission to get dangerous toys off store shelves.
He carries pictures and descriptions of five toys, a stroller and a novelty item called an “electric picture” that have been recalled by the federal government for safety reasons.
Barry Smith says, "Electrical, sharp objects that can cause injuries, parts falling off that can be consumed or choked.”
It’s a touchy subject for toy stores. One major department store wouldn’t let us follow Smith on his inspection out of concern he’d find a dangerous toy in its aisles, but as it turned out, the store passed with flying colors; no recalled toys here.
"This company makes one of the recalled items, a remote-control car, but this is a newer version where the safety problem was corrected. You can tell by looking at the serial number.”
It might surprise you to know some of the most trusted toy makers have toys on the recall list; a highchair toy by Graco, a nerf football by Hasbro and a batmobile by Mattel. Smith says just because the toy’s put out by a major manufacturer or department store doesn’t always mean it’s safe.
"As a rule, they probably are, but no, you can’t assume anything, particularly when it comes to the safety of children."
Smith says you have to be particularly careful purchasing children’s items at flea markets and secondhand shops.