In some ways, children are even more vulnerable to dangerous products than adults are. Children lack the judgment to avoid situations that could be harmful, and hazardous materials can have a greater effect on their bodies than on adults’.
Unfortunately, imported toys and other goods sometimes contain excessive amounts of hazardous materials such as lead. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced a recall of covered wood wagons from Colony Brands for a lead poisoning hazard.
What is the danger associated with the wagons?
The federal government imposes limits on the amount of lead that consumer products can contain. The Colony Brands covered wood wagon, which originates from China, contains lead levels that exceed the maximums in paint on the plastic handle and the wood of the wagon. The red plastic cover also contains excessive amounts of lead.
Why is lead especially dangerous for children?
Lead is a toxic material that can cause health problems as it builds up in the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, children are even more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults because their bodies absorb the lead more easily. Their hands could become contaminated with lead dust as they play with the wagons, or they might chew on the sides of the wagon or the handles, potentially swallowing flakes of lead in the process.
Exposure to lead can interfere with children’s growth and development, causing learning difficulties and developmental delays. It can also cause physical symptoms, such as seizures, hearing loss and loss of appetite, which can result in weight loss. Children with lead poisoning may experience irritability or fatigue or show strange behaviors such as pica, in which they try to eat things that are not edible.