Are Nesting Dolls Safe? The Myths and The Facts

I was asked over the website by a potential customer one time whether the nesting dolls I sold were “Certified Child Friendly” like a competitor of ours.  I didn’t know how to handle that question, so I did my research.  A long time of researching provides the following myths and the corresponding facts.

Myth Fact
Certain nesting doll retailers sell "Certified Child Friendly" dolls There exists no standard called “Child Friendly”. The name was created by a certain retailer and the standards created by the retailer that is meant to assure the buyer that the doll was painted by non-toxic paints and does not include attachments that can be broken through the application of pressure.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) provides for a method to test toys to ensure they meet a high standard for child safety. No retailer, even the ones touting to have “child friendly” standards has attempted to be tested and certified under CPSIA. Among many challenges to meet that certification, it is very cost prohibitive.
Russian nesting dolls are unsafe for children There is no reasonable retailer that will deny that the smaller pieces of a nesting doll can present a swallowing and/or choke hazard to a child. In addition, most nesting dolls are coated with a lacquer that can be chewed away. No nesting doll is immune to this and all retailers recommend that dolls be played with under proper supervision and care of an adult.
Nesting dolls are a fire hazard Typical nesting dolls will not easily catch fire. The lacquer coating, while it can burn, is not considered "flammable". The inside of nesting dolls may not be as protected, but (again), protection from burning occurs when children are properly supervised when playing with the dolls.
Nesting dolls are made in China where the use of lead-based paints is common A buyer can inadvertently stumble across a nesting doll that is not made in Russia or is made from an non-reputable source. The primary retailers, however, get their dolls from reputable artists and wholesalers or (in some cases) manufacturer some of their own dolls. Purchasing from a single person or an entity that does not focus on Russian goods increases this risk. Overall, the larger Russian retailers sell only legitimate Russian-made nesting dolls.

This guide doesn’t relieve a buyer from being responsible in considering where they purchase a doll or whether a doll is a good fit for the child they may be purchasing it for. However, this guide is meant to eliminate the general myths and provide the educated buyer with some actual facts to help them with their shopping experience.

Published on October 15, 2014.

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