Toys"R"Us Safety Standards and Practices
As the world's leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, we understand the trust parents place in us to ensure the safety of the products we sell and to provide only the safest shopping environment for them and their families. We take that responsibility very seriously. One of the important parts of our mission as a company is to help parents keep their kids safe.
We fulfill this mission by working vigilantly on behalf of our customers to look for ways to raise the bar on product safety in our stores. We have put in place industry-leading product safety standards that meet federally mandated requirements. In many instances, we have gone beyond existing standards to ensure the safest shopping environment for our customers. In addition, we provide the resources parents, grandparents and childcare providers need to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on product safety and recalls.
Beyond product safety, we strive to make available the necessary information and products to help parents and caregivers prevent accidental injuries – one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of 14. We do this by partnering with organizations like Safe Kids USA and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids to develop tips and guides, and ensuring that our merchandise assortment includes products and equipment like bike helmets and elbow and knee pads.
At Toys“R”Us, Inc., we love kids and babies, and our commitment to their safety is non-negotiable. You can be sure that at every turn, we will continue to look for ways to fulfill our commitment to the safety of the families we serve.
Information About Toys“R”Us, Inc. Product Safety Standards
The safety of our customers is, and always has been, our highest priority. As lawmakers worked to finalize the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008, we moved quickly and decisively to enhance our own industry-leading rigorous quality assurance standards to ensure that our standards would meet and, in some instances, go above and beyond what is required by the CPSIA. We simply will not tolerate unsafe products on our store shelves. Failure by manufacturers to meet our safety requirements has consequences – up to and including termination of our business relationship.
Furthermore, as a global retailer, we monitor safety issues in the countries where we have a presence and take appropriate action, often on a global scale.
Increased Quality Assurance Standards and Oversight
In line with our commitment to the safety of the kids and families we serve, our company has very strict requirements for all the products we carry, and we require that each product that we purchase complies with all applicable state and federal laws, industry standards, codes and requirements. For example, manufacturers are required to test products for a variety of potential safety concerns including lead, cadmium, small parts, sharp edges, flammability and other hazards.
Products sold in Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores must meet the following safety standards:
- All product samples must be tested by an accredited lab before they are shipped to our stores;
- Date-coding must be provided on all products;
- Surface coatings shall not exceed 90 ppm for lead;
- Substrate materials shall not exceed 300 ppm for lead; and
- All children’s jewelry, feeding products, child care articles intended to go in the mouth and toys for children up to age 12 received by the company after May 1, 2010 are tested for cadmium to a soluble extraction limit of 75ppm, lower than the current amount allowed in the U.S., and in line with standards that have been in place for several years in Europe, Australia and Japan. Soluble extraction tests are used to mimic a child chewing or mouthing an object.
SAFETY STANDARDS FOR CRIBS SOLD IN-STORE AND ONLINE
As of June 28, 2011, all cribs manufactured and sold in the U.S. must comply with tough new federal safety standards. The new standards, which apply to full-size and non full-size cribs, prohibit the manufacture or sale of traditional drop-side rail cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware and require more rigorous testing. As a company dedicated to the safety of children, Toys“R”Us, Inc. proactively made the decision to eliminate drop-side cribs from its assortment before these requirements were put in place, and we have not carried drop-side cribs since December 2009. All cribs sold in our stores and online are fully compliant with the updated standards mandated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Use of Phthalates and Reduction of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Prior to federal regulations being put in place, Toys“R”Us, Inc. proactively mandated that juvenile products shipped to the company must be produced without the addition of phthalates which have raised concerns about infant safety.
Recognizing that some of our customers are seeking PVC-free products for infants, since 2007 the company has taken steps to eliminate or reduce PVC in juvenile products manufactured exclusively for Toys“R”Us, Inc. Specific categories, such as vinyl bibs, have been removed entirely from store inventories and replaced with PVC-free merchandise lines. In addition, PVC reductions have been made in certain infant bath, feeding and teething lines produced solely for the company. Toys“R”Us, Inc. continues to look for ways to reduce or replace PVC in its exclusive product offerings for infants.
Elimination of Nickel-Cadmium Batteries from All Products Manufactured Exclusively for Toys“R”Us, Inc.
As of the end of 2008, all products made exclusively for Toys“R”Us, Inc. are produced without the use of nickel-cadmium batteries.
Elimination of Baby Feeding Products Containing Bisphenol-A (BPA)
All of the bottles, feeding and nursing accessories available in our stores meet the standards set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As of January 1, 2009, all baby bottles and baby feeding products sold in “R”Us® stores and through our websites are BPA-free.
While the FDA is currently evaluating its position on the safety of products made with BPA, in light of growing consumer concerns on this topic, we worked with manufacturers to phase out all baby bottles and other baby feeding products containing BPA in our Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide.
Elimination of Bath Seats
While bath seats are deemed safe for use with proper adult supervision by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in recent years children’s safety advocates have cited ongoing instances where bath seats have created a false sense of security among parents. This has resulted in children being left unattended in the bathtub, causing injury and in some cases, unintentional drowning. Out of an abundance of caution, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has eliminated bath seats as part of its in-store and online assortments in the U.S. and Canada, and has begun to phase them out in countries worldwide.
Elimination of Sleep positioners
In Fall 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Food and U.S. Drug Administration (FDA) together issued a warning advising parents to stop using sleep positioners, including both flat mats with side bolsters or inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters.
This warning was issued as a result of several infant deaths over the past 13 years associated with the use of these items. Following this warning, Toys“R”Us, Inc. immediately removed sleep positioners from its in-store and online assortments throughout North America and no longer carries these products as part of its inventory.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. Position on Crib Bumpers
Toys“R”Us, Inc. has developed and mandated stringent standards for crib bumpers from its manufacturers. In March 2009, we communicated the following requirements to our manufacturers for bumpers sold in our stores and online:
- All bumpers must use a firm filling material measuring no more than 1” thick in the relaxed state, meaning that Toys“R”Us, Inc. no longer allows “pillowy” bumpers.
- All bumpers must be manufactured as four separate panels.
- All bumpers must have top and bottom ties.
- For longer panels, eight sets of bumper ties must be used, and on shorter panels, six sets of bumper ties must be used.
- Bumper ties must not exceed nine inches in length.
- A warning label providing direction on preventing entanglement or strangulation with bumper ties, as well as advising parents to stop using bumper pads when a child can sit up unaided or pull up to a standing position, must be printed on the item’s packaging. A warning label also must be placed on one short panel and one long panel of the bumper set.
- Instructions must be included with the bumpers to ensure proper use of the panels.
In addition, the company has mandated that manufacturers no longer include bumpers as part of bedding sets sold in its stores or online. This change is expected to be fully implemented by mid-2013. With the bumper sold separately, parents may choose whether or not to include the bumper as part of their baby’s nursery.
As a company, we are committed to helping parents provide a safe sleeping environment for their babies.
Recall Process and Return Policy
When a recall takes place, we act with urgency to guarantee the safety of our customers. We follow strict and non-negotiable procedures that include immediately removing items from our sales floors, stockrooms, websites, and distribution centers. Each of the removed items must be properly accounted for in our systems and a systemic “stop-sale” is issued on the product. This ensures that the item cannot be sold at the register, and that recalled items do not leave the distribution centers for stores.
We hold our store managers accountable for removing all recalled products from our store shelves immediately. They are also responsible for displaying recall posters on our Safety Boards and checking them daily. And, we post all recall information here on our Safety website in the “Product Recalls” section.
When a product is recalled, we believe the most important thing is to get that product out of children’s hands. We have a “no quibble” policy when it comes to recalls. This means Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us will take back recalled products sold at a Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us store at any point during the recall period. No receipt or proof of purchase is necessary to return a recalled product to one of our stores. If you do not have a receipt, you will receive a store credit for the lowest sale price of the product within the last 30 days. There are some exceptions to this policy, so be sure to check with your local store for more details.
Other Actions by Toys“R”Us, Inc. on Product Safety
We continue to enhance our safety standards, and make resources available for parents and caregivers to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on product recalls. Here on our Safety website – Toysrus.com/Safety – we house important information about product safety, as well as tips to help parents prevent accidental childhood injuries. We encourage you to visit this website often, which we continue to update with the most pertinent safety information. In addition, we have an email notification system for product recalls, offer bilingual recall notices, and we feature a Safety Board in all our stores that displays up-to-date recall information.
Providing a Safe Shopping Environment For Our Customers
To further ensure we fulfill our commitment to providing a safe shopping environment for our customers, we have adopted and implemented the following policies:
Video Games Policy
All video and computer games sold at Toys“R”Us stores carry ratings by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Toys“R”Us takes the issue of video game ratings very seriously, and as part of our responsibility to protect children and keep them safe, we instituted a company-wide policy in 1999 to prohibit the sale of “M” rated video games to anyone under the age of 17 unless accompanied by an adult. We also do not carry any “adults-only” merchandise.
We have the following practices in place to enforce this policy:
- “M” rated video games are locked up in our stores and require a store associate to access them for sale;
- Any customer who wishes to purchase a mature item, regardless of their perceived age, must show appropriate age identification prior to purchase;
- Our store cash registers have a prompt system that stops the transaction at the point of sale as soon as an “M” rated video game is scanned, reminding sales associates to check for I.D. before the sale can continue; and
- On Toysrus.com, we request age confirmation for “M” rated games before a sale can be completed.
To ensure compliance with the video game policy in our stores, we conduct random audits in our stores. Any store associate who violates this policy is subject to immediate disciplinary action, including termination.
In addition to these practices, we make information available in our stores and on Toysrus.com about what each of the video game ratings symbols signify to ensure our customers understand the ESRB ratings system. Our store associates are also well trained on these ratings so they may assist customers in finding games that are suitable for the intended audience.
Recognizing our responsibility to providing a safe environment and safe products for our customers, we do not sell any toy gun that could be mistaken for a real gun. Toys“R”Us was the first retailer in the U.S. to adopt this policy, which has been in place since 1994.
As part of our commitment to providing a safe environment for our youngest customers, Toys“R”Us was one of the first retailers to adopt the “Code Adam” procedure when it was developed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. In the event that a child is reported missing in one of our stores, the Code Adam procedure ensures that our store associates instantly mobilize to conduct a search and that the store can be secured to prevent the child from being taken by someone other than his or her parent or guardian.
All of our store associates are trained to perform the specific steps in the Code Adam procedure.
Our Standards to Protect the Safety of Our Employees
In addition to the steps we take to help parents keep their kids safe, we also have in place standards to maintain the safety and well-being of our employees. We take a very proactive approach to employee safety, which involves ongoing safety-related discussions and training with our employees.