After a second massive recall of its toys the Mattel company is promising to improve safety standards.
Mattel says the suspect toys are a small percentage of their output -- and that most of them are no longer on store shelves. They could still be in the hands of your children.
The numbers are staggering and, for parents, quite scary.
Mattel is recalling more than 18 million toys around the world that were made in China. They include children's favorites -- Batman, Barbies, Poly Pockets -- all with loose magnets and "Sarge" cars covered in lead paint.
The magnets, if swallowed, can puncture the digestive system. Over time the lead paint, in small amounts, can damage a child's brain. In high doses it can be fatal.
Julie Vallese with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission said,
Dara Readus brought her twin girls to a mobile lead testing lab in Indianapolis. Most of her daughters' toys are made in China. That has her worried. Readus said, "Like 90 percent of their toys are manufactured in China, and I wondered who's to say that there wasn't lead being used in them a year ago?"
Mattel's CEO Robert Eckert says he accepts responsibility for the recall, though he refused to answer how much money the company is saving by having their toys made in China.
Eckert said, "The question of safety is not about money. It's about doing the right thing for consumers. Again, we make toys in markets other than China."
So far, there have been no reported injuries related to the recalled toys. Mattel is said to have some of the highest safety standards in the industry.
But this is its second toy recall in two weeks. Analysts predict both recalls will have a major impact on Mattel's Christmas sales.