Parental Advisory Suggested
Lafichi cited the importance of having a supplier that distributors can put their faith and trust in. "It is our job [as suppliers] to babysit that order every step of the way. We take care of all the issues for them, i.e., safety, production, everything. They shouldn't have to worry about these issues," she said.
What About the Future?
With the Environmental Protection Agency releasing its expansive "Chemicals of Concern" list and its corresponding action plans, it is getting tougher for unsafe products to seep into the supply chain. It will become even more difficult when the CPSIA regulations go into full effect on December 31, 2011, requiring that "all products intended for children under 12 are tested and certified as meeting the lead limits as set forth in the law." Phthalate testing is also required for toys intended for children under 12 or "child care articles" for children under three.
For the informed and educated distributor, Carollo noted, "The sky is the limit on these items. There will always be a need for children's items, and the suppliers and distributers that can bring the safe ones to the table are going to win. There's too much uncertainty out there, so people who are worried about safety issues will go to those who are informed."
Lafichi concurred, saying, "The future for this segment is really all about safety and keeping kids active. The government is really working to eliminate potentially hazardous chemicals in these products and I do believe they are doing a good job of it."