Excessive lead is forcing local retailers to pull more toys from their shelves tonight. In all, stores have had to pull more than 450 different toys because of recalls this year alone, which adds up to 20 million toys nationwide.
On Friday, Dollar Tree stores across the country, including the four stores right here in Lubbock are taking these toys off the shelves. Made in China, the "Speed Racer Pull Back-N-Go" Cars are being recalled because of lead, along with a colored sliding bead toy.
Recalls like these account for a new trend in how we buy toys and is also causing some local toy drives to take precautions with the donations they receive.
In the surgery department at Highland Community Hospital, giving is a holiday tradition.
"For the past ten years we've adopt children from CPS. It's great," Yolanda Carranco said.
Christmas is for Kids gives the department a toy wish list, telling these Santas just what to buy.
"I don't think none of these were on the self that were recalled," Carranco added.
However, just to be sure this year, organizers are double-checking their donations against a recall list.
Shawn Vandygriff, the organizer of Christmas is for Kids said, "We kinda had a late start. We already had all the toys out. So what we've done is taken the list and looked at the toys we have received from the community to make sure none of those toys have been on the list."
However, with more than 450 individual toys recalled this year local charities say they are relying on stores to have done their job and pulled those toys.
"We're depending on the toy shops to have already pulled those toys and we're just kinda depending on that because there are so many and we really can't hire any more people to do that," Major Ernest Branscum of The Salvation Army said.
The Salvation Army collects toys for more than 3,000 Lubbock children through their Angel Tree. There is an additional 200 toys leftover from last season, but instead of giving those out this year, The Salvation Army will first check those to make sure they are safe.
"We are not going to put those toys out we've put those up and we'll look at them through the year and then we'll use those next year," Major Branscum added.
However, this year, those donating are also shopping with safety in mind before buying toys.
"We don't want any of those kids to get hurt or anything," Meagan Hart said.
We also spoke with Toys for Tots. A spokesperson said they are also relying on stores to have pulled recalled toys. They said they do not have enough people to sort through all the donations.
Most of these toy drives do wrap up this weekend. You are urged to drop off donations for Christmas is for Kids by Friday night. You can make those donations at any local or area McDonalds. The gifts will be given out to kids in foster care Sunday.