Yet another massive recall of Chinese made toys. This new one involves some kind of craft beads that apparently fuse when sprayed with water. Marketed here under the name Aqua Dots and touted by Walmart as one of the must have toys of the year, retailers are now scrambling to pull the poisonous pellets off the shelves after discovering the beads metabolize when swallowed into "GHB," commonly called the date rape drug. Unfortunately they only discovered this after several children convulsed and fell into comas as a result of swallowing the beads, which do look remarkably like those candy dots we used buy on long strips of paper when I was a kid.
I really don't understand how they could have failed to test for this before they starting selling the product. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict that kids might confuse them with candy. But whatever, a lot of parents are understandably upset and I see many are suggesting we demonstrate our disgust with lax safety standards by refusing to purchase any toys make in China.
Good luck with that. I've been checking the manufacturer on anything I consider buying lately and nearly everything is made in China, including all the themed items that are favored by the tykes in my life such as Thomas the Train and Sesame Street. It seems to me the only safe bet is to give them empty cardboard boxes.
Update: Thanks to Erick in comments who found a source for US made wooden trains with lead-free paint.