CCRF Urges Parents to Shop with Safety in Mind this Holiday Season

CCRF offers toxic free shopping tips to avoid purchasing unsafe gifts

With the holiday shopping season in full-swing, parents will be scurrying from store to store in search of the perfect toys and gifts for their children. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the potentially carcinogenic materials that could be lurking among Santa’s wish-list. As part of its Toxic Free Kids initiative, the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF) reminds parents to become familiar with certain toxins, such as lead-based paints and vinyl materials, which have been linked to pediatric cancer.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), any toys made in – or imported into – the United States after 1995 must comply with its standards. It also warns parents to steer clear of older toys, even hand-me-downs, as they may not meet current safety standards. Parents must take the appropriate precautions to ensure toys are safe for their children.

The Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation offers the following tips to help parents avoid toxic toys this holiday season:

  • Avoid toys with lead-based paint: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. It is critical to avoid toys containing lead. Read labels and do your research to ensure the toys you purchase are safe.
  • Read the labels on art materials: The standards set forth by the CPSC require all art materials to be labeled “non-toxic.” If a company fails to label its product as toxic free, it is in your best interest to avoid that crayon or marker. Additionally, crayons and paints should have ASTM D-4236 listed on the package, which means that they’ve been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
  • Be sure toys are flame retardant/resistant: According to the standards established by the CPSC, all plush and fabric toys must be labeled flame retardant or resistant. Be on the lookout for this when shopping for stuffed animals, dolls, etc.
  • Choose natural materials: When possible, select plastic-free toys made from natural materials. This can include unpainted wood or fabric rather than products containing vinyl.

Remember to read the label and/or box on any toy prior to purchase. If a manufacturer fails to identify certain information, such as lead-free or non-toxic, be sure to place it back on the retailer’s shelf.

From all of us at CCRF, we wish you a toxic free holiday season and a new year filled with joy and good health.

About Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF)

Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA with a division in The Woodlands, TX, the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation supports children under 18 and their families facing the hardships of cancer. The foundation performs acts of care and kindness through the following programs: Bear-Able Gifts (largest distributor of gifts to children with cancer in the U.S.); Toxic-Free Kids (educates families on the dangers of environmental toxins); New Era Cancer Research Fund (funds research for less toxic, minimally-invasive pediatric-cancer treatments); International Aid (provides medications and supplies to clinics in developing and impoverished countries); Helping Hands Fund (provides emergency financial assistance to families); and Camp Scholarships (allows children in remission to reconnect with activities they love). With a national pediatric-hospital partner network of 215+ locations, the foundation directly helps more than 15,000 children affected by cancer and their families every year. Please visit