All I can say is thank goodness my girls have outgrown Barbie and Polly Pocket, because I would be in a major fury over this latest Mattel recall if they were still young enough to play with those toys.
"How many little kids are going to understand that?" my daughter Beth said. "They're just going to think you're mean to take away all their toys. They're going to wonder what they did wrong."
You can't let children play with lead-tainted toys. Young children are most vulnerable, because their brains and nervous system are still being formed. According to the National Safety Council, "even very low levels of exposure can result in reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing, and kidney damage."
No Barbie accessory -- and no toddler tantrum -- is worth that. But it has to be a delicate matter to collect and dispose of toys that your child enjoys. Beth is right. It's not going to be easy to explain to a 3-year-old why she can't play with her Barbie Dream Puppy House or her Barbie kitchen chairs. Sure, it's going to feel like a punishment even though she did nothing wrong. And it's not like you can just go out and get something new -- although some parents will. Not every family is going to have money to replace the bad toys.
I'd love to hear how you're all handling this. What works? What doesn't?