Toys "R" Us has just announced new safety standards that will be implemented in its 1,500 stores. Beginning March 1st, there will be tighter standards related to the amount of lead allowed in the toys branded with the chain's name. The company is also removing nickel-cadmium batteries from the branded products and restricting the use of two other chemicals in toys.

These new self-imposed standards are expected to exceed the federal standards that should be coming out soon, and are being done in the light of the number of toys recalled across several brands. Consumers are rightly concerned about the levels of lead in toys, particularly when young children are notorious for putting many of their toys in their mouths.

Toy companies would be wise to implement stringent standards of their own and widely publicize their efforts. Safety, especially when it comes to small children, can be an issue that makes or breaks a company. It's good business to make sure that our country's children are protected from harmful chemicals.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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